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Inside Boston Dynamics’ plan to commercialization


Boston Dynamics began selling its first product in June 2020. commercial robot:Spot.

The company was thrilled to witness this momentous occasion. Boston Dynamics has been committed to research and development for most of its thirty-year history. Boston Dynamics was initially funded primarily by the U.S. Military and DARPA. It was later financed by large-name investors, including GoogleSoftBank, Hyundai and most recently SoftBank. These companies all tried to guide the robot manufacturer on a path towards commercialization. Boston Dynamics finally succeeds.

I expect we’ll become a prolific producer of new robots with high capabilities. Robert Playter is the CEO of Boston Dynamics. “I think that we’ll be building, every three or five years, a novel robot targeting an industry.”

Boston Dynamics will continue to focus on warehouse and inspection industries, using its robots Spot & Stretch.

Spot’s chief engineer Zack Jackowski says that the next industry in Spot will be in industrial sensing. It’s really fascinating because you will be able to start understanding the facilities and how they work in new ways, once you have high quality, consistent data.

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot inspects a National Grid substation.


Spot can be used for inspections on construction sites, oil fields, nuclear power plants and to remind people of social distance during the pandemic. Boston Dynamics claimed that they have sold more than 100 Spot robotics to date, and the entry level robot costs around $75,000

Stretch is the other robot commercial for the company and focuses on warehouses.

Playter says that Stretch is a box-moving machine for general use. It can also be used in warehouses. Each year, around 800 million containers are shipped across the globe. Many of these containers are packed with boxes. The United States has trillions of boxes being loaded and unloaded each year. It is an enormous job. There is a lot of material to move. The best tool to move this material is stretch.

Stretch is comprised of several parts. Stretch uses a mobile base for maneuvering in tight places and climbing up loading ramps. Robots can recognize and manage a range of items thanks to a gripper, arm, vision cameras and sensors. The robot is initially designed to load and unload trucks.

Boston Dynamics expects Stretch to be on sale in the next year. But, they won’t give a price. Boston Dynamics offers Pick, which is the computer vision program that powers Stretch. Although the company claims it is working with some early adopters, Boston Dynamics has not revealed who these partners might be. 

Check out the video to learn more about Boston Dynamics’ history and the company’s plan to transition from R&D to commercialization.