The global e-commerce giant, Otto Group, is set to integrate Boston Dynamics' robotics into its logistics process. The two firms have penned a strategic deal which will see the deployment of Boston Dynamics' Spot® and Stretch™ robots across the Otto Group's various facilities in the coming two years, beginning with Hermes Fulfilment.
According to the agreement details, Spot, Boston Dynamics' quadruped robot, will undertake tunnel inspections, predictive maintenance tasks, thermal monitoring, and more. This includes the autonomous collection of data to support machine learning models for tasks like monitoring fire exits and observing storage rack modifications. On the other hand, the Otto Group will deploy Stretch, the company's box-moving robot, at ten facilities in the upcoming year, aiming for full operational integration by the close of 2025. Specifically designed for warehousing, Stretch provides assistance with the lifting and transporting of heavy packages, a crucial aid for the demanding physical tasks within the container sector.
Kay Schiebur, Member of the Executive Board, Services at Otto Group, remarked on the collaboration, stating, "Robotics and AI are, and will increasingly become, pivotal elements in our operations." He further emphasized the company's commitment to innovation, both for customer service and fostering a state-of-the-art work environment for their workforce.
Supporting their employees in this technological transition, the Otto Group has instituted a comprehensive training scheme, with over 10,000 warehouse and facility personnel already having benefited from their TechUcation virtual courses. The digital curriculum is complemented by hands-on, onsite training, ensuring the workforce remains at the forefront of the evolving logistics sector.
Elaborating on the long-term vision of this collaboration, Schiebur said, "Our ability to swiftly and flexibly adjust to new market scenarios fortifies our stance for the future." The Otto Group and Boston Dynamics are also slated to combine forces in research and development, examining potential applications for both the Spot and Stretch robots.
Robert Playter, Boston Dynamics' CEO, commended the Otto Group for its innovative approach, asserting that the synergy between the two companies' technological expertise and logistics prowess promises a fruitful collaboration for the foreseeable future.