Boston (dpa) – The Otto commercial group wants to make its logistics services more efficient through robots produced by the American company Boston Dynamics. The Otto Group will use “Stretch” robots at 20 sites, which can, for example, unload containers, CEO Kai Schebor said in a media interview.
In addition, the four-legged Spot robots, which resemble a large dog, will be used in ten locations over the next 24 months. Among other things, you will inspect Otto’s tunnels, read machine displays and detect gas or compressed air leaks based on noise.
Shibor said that unloading containers currently represents a bottleneck in logistics services. “At some peak times throughout the year, there may be 60, 70 or up to 100 containers waiting to be unloaded,” he added.
Otto also wants to use “Atlas” robots.
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.
Over time, Otto also wants to use Atlas robots, said Shibor, the board member responsible for logistics. In addition to the mail order brands, the Otto group also includes the Hermes parcel service. Robert Playter, president of Boston Robotics, said that Atlas has the advantage of being strong, mobile, and having two hands. At the same time, he added that it will take some time before the robot is commercialized.
100 possible usage scenarios
Meanwhile, 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 track. Over time, it should also be able to load and unload pallets, for example, Blatter said. Otto and Boston Dynamics also want to collaborate on development. Among other things, the robot provider wants to improve its software for optical object recognition.
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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