DHL First to Commercially Deploy Boston Dynamics’ Stretch Robot

Boston Dynamics’ Stretch robot will be rolled out across DHL warehouses to unload trucks

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

February 7, 2023

1 Min Read

DHL has become the first company to commercially deploy Boston Dynamics’ Stretch robot, designed for unloading trucks.

Stretch was developed in a four-year strategic collaboration between the two companies, which included a $15 million investment by DHL into Boston Dynamics’ warehouse automation technologies last year.

In the new deployment, Stretch takes packages from the back of trailers and places them on a conveyor, in an automation application DHL says addresses safety concerns as well as labor supply challenges in the manufacturing and logistics industry.

“Through our accelerated digitization strategy, we continue to innovate and find creative solutions for today’s supply chain challenges,” said Sally Miller, CIO of DHL North America. “The successful deployment of Stretch is not just a win for DHL but is also marked progress for the wider industry who will no doubt benefit from this technology as well. We are also excited to be able to offer yet another solution to our customers that allows for flexibility in scaling up or down as operational needs change.”

The robot’s design features a lightweight arm with seven degrees of freedom, allowing it to reach cartons throughout a container. Advanced sensing and controls enable it to handle a variety of package types and sizes, while Boston Dynamics’ computer vision technology allows it to easily identify boxes without any pre-programming. 

DHL is set to deploy Stretch across multiple warehouses this year, as well as gradually increase the use of additional robotic technologies in the future, with a focus on mobile warehouse robots. 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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