Collaboration with Boston Dynamics
The Otto Group advertises the use of robotic dogs
September 11, 2023 at 10:23 am
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In order to speed up work processes in the field of logistics, Otto plans to use robots. The most important thing is the ease of loading and unloading containers by a robot with a gripper arm. But animal-like robots will soon serve the group.
Trading and service company Otto Group wants to cooperate with Boston Dynamics, a leading robotics company. Otto wants to make its logistics services more efficient using robots from the American company, Otto director Kai Schebor told the Handelsblatt newspaper.
In the next two years, Otto will use the popular Spot dog robot to conduct inspections at more than a dozen logistics centers. Among other things, these robots will control Otto’s tunnels, read device screens and detect gas or compressed air leaks by noise.
“Spot”, “Stretch” and “Atlas”
The newer giant arm with suction cups called “Stretch” will soon be used in more than 20 Otto Group centres, for example, to remove parcels from containers. Shibor said that unloading containers currently represents a bottleneck in logistics services. “At certain peak times during the year, 60, 70 or up to 100 containers are waiting to be unloaded.”
The ‘stretch’ essentially consists of a large gripper arm with suction cups that can move boxes weighing up to 23kg. His first task is to take the goods out of the container and put them on the conveyor belt. Over time, it must also load and unload pallets, for example, said Robert Playter, president of Boston Robotics.
Shibor, the board member responsible for logistics, said Otto also wants to use Atlas robots in the future. In addition to the mail order brands, the Otto group also includes the Hermes parcel service. Blatter said Atlas has the advantage of being strong and mobile, and has two hands. At the same time, he added that it will take some time before the robot is commercialized.
Cooperation also in the field of research and development
The two companies also wanted to collaborate on research and development to further develop robots. Among other things, the robot provider wants to improve its software for optical object recognition. The investment as part of this collaboration is in the double-digit million range.
Boston Dynamics is a leading robotics company that was previously owned by Google and then acquired by South Korean automaker Hyundai three years ago. Videos demonstrating the capabilities of Boston Dynamics machines have been popular online for years. In addition to Spot, Atlas, a humanoid robot that can walk on two legs and carry weights, is causing a particular stir.
Shibor emphasized that Otto wanted to use robots in artificial intelligence on a broad front and had already identified more than 100 potential use scenarios.
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