The companies have collaborated closely on use of the Stretch robot.

DHL Supply Chain will invest $ 15 million to further automate domain controllers through the Boston Dynamics collaboration

DHL Supply Chain, a North American global leader in contract logistics and part of the Deutsche Post DHL group, today announced a $ 15 million investment in robotics solutions by Boston Dynamics, a global leader in mobile robotics, to further automate warehouses in North America. The companies have signed a multi-year agreement that begins with equipping DHL facilities with Stretch, Boston Dynamics’ brand new robot specifically designed to automate the unloading process in distribution centers.

This agreement is the culmination of the strategic collaboration between the two companies in recent years as Stretch was being developed and tested, DHL added. Boston Dynamics will deliver a fleet of Stretch robots to multiple DHL warehouses across North America over the next three years. The agreement with DHL marks the first commercial purchase of Stretch, presented in 2021.

The investment is part of DHL Supply Chain’s accelerated digitization agenda, a strategy for developing and scaling innovative solutions and new technologies. Stretch will deal with various activities of moving the boxes in the warehouse, starting with the unloading of the trucks at selected DHL facilities. After the first implementation, the multipurpose mobile robot will handle additional tasks to support other parts of the warehouse workflow, effectively automating warehouse operations.

“At DHL Supply Chain, we are committed to continuous innovation and digital transformation to optimize the end-to-end supply chain. Investing in warehouse automation plays an important role in increasing operational efficiency and improving service for our customers, “said Sally Miller, CIO, DHL Supply Chain North America.” We are thrilled to partner with Boston Dynamics to implement its best-in-class robotics in our warehouses. The Stretch robot addresses complex industry challenges through flexible automation, which we will be able to replicate and scale regionally and globally. “

Stretch’s technology builds on Boston Dynamics’ decades of robotics advancements to create a flexible and easily integrated solution that can work in any warehouse to increase the flow of goods and improve employee safety by taking on physically demanding tasks. Stretch features a compact, omnidirectional moving base, a custom designed lightweight arm, and an intelligent gripper with advanced sensing and controls that can handle a wide variety of box types and sizes. It also includes Boston Dynamics machine vision technology, which allows you to identify boxes easily and without any pre-programming. Stretch is able to work autonomously in complex situations such as messy stacking configurations and recovery of dropped boxes.

“Stretch is Boston Dynamics’ new robot, designed specifically to solve challenges within the warehouse space,” said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. “We are thrilled to be working with DHL Supply Chain to provide a fleet of robots that will further automate the warehouse and improve safety for its associates. We believe Stretch can have a measurable impact on DHL’s business operations and are thrilled to see the robot in action on a large scale. ”

Distribution of the first Stretch units in DHL warehouses will begin this spring, and DHL plans to gradually scale Boston Dynamics’ robots for additional, multi-facility operations in stages over the next few years.

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