We cooperate with Boston Dynamics

We are cooperating with Boston Dynamics to further advance the targeted use of robots in its global logistics centers.

Boston Dynamics is a global leader in the development of highly mobile robots. As part of the partnership, ten Stretch® robots were agreed to be purchased. The first two Stretch® robots will be deployed in Louisville, Kentucky, where the supply chain and e-commerce service provider operates a logistics campus for several clients totaling 2,4 million sqf across multiple distribution centers. “We are very pleased to implement Stretch® at our Louisville site and take our logistics to a new level”, says Andrea Mahon, Vice President Tech at Arvato. Subsequent plans are to deploy Stretch® in Europe, commencing with Arvato’s Dutch sites.
"This innovation project offers great potential in the medium term," says Bernhard Lembeck, Head of the department Future Warehouse at Arvato. "We don't see Stretch® as a stand-alone system, but as another building block of our Warehouse Automation Toolbox, which, in addition to robotic inbound palletizing and pallet transports by automated guided vehicles (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR), completes the process chain towards a fully automated goods receiving process." In recent years, Arvato has significantly advanced the automation of its global sites, particularly in the area of picking with shuttles and AutoStore systems.

Stretch®, is a mobile autonomous robot that performs package handling tasks for greater efficiency and safety. It can handle packages of various sizes weighing up to 23 kilograms (50 lbs), and work continuously for up to 16 hours. The robot unloads floor-loaded trucks and containers, saving employees in warehouse operations from doing this physically demanding work manually. "The health of our employees is a high priority for us. By minimizing ergonomically questionable workplaces in our warehouses, we relieve the burden on our employees, who in return can take on more value-adding activities in other areas," explains Alex Rees, Project Manager at Arvato. "Automation is at the same time an important step in addressing the general issue of staff availability."

Stretch® is equipped with a lightweight robot arm mounted on a mobile platform. Its full mobility, untethered to power or air lines, allows the robot to be deployed at different points of work in the warehouse or across the company network. With an advanced vision system and a powerful vacuum gripper with pneumatic control and sensing, Stretch® recognizes and is able to grasp a wide range of carton types and sizes. The robot makes decisions in real time, so no pre-programming of box information is needed. "Currently, Stretch is the only solution on the market that can perform unloading in this way," says Bernhard Lembeck. "By using them, we are on a very innovative path."

“We are proud to be working with Arvato to deliver a fleet of robots to their logistics centers,” said Marc Theermann, Chief Strategy Officer at Boston Dynamics.  “We firmly believe that Stretch® will further help automate Arvato’s warehousing and operations, and improve safety and employee experience across the company’s global footprint.”

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