Boston Dynamics reaches into warehouse robotics market with acquisition of Kinema Systems
Company announces plans to develop additional robotic products for stacking boxes on pallets, moving boxes to conveyors.
Just days after unveiling a dinosaur-shaped robot for carrying boxes through warehouses, technology firm Boston Dynamics announced it has acquired a California firm that provides technology to help stationary robots locate and move boxes on complex pallets.
Waltham, Mass.-based Boston Dynamics said Thursday that it had acquired Kinema Systems, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company that provides "deep learning" and vision technologies for industrial robotic arms.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Boston Dynamics said it plans to sell and support Kinema's products immediately. The move also provides Boston Dynamics with its first office in Silicon Valley, a "beachhead" that the company said would help it expand in the Bay Area this year, with plans to develop and sell advanced robotics products for the logistics market.
Kinema's "Pick" technology uses a combination of vision sensors and deep learning software to work with commercial robotic arms to move boxes from pallets to conveyors or to build stacks of boxes on pallets. Pick enables logistics, retail, and manufacturing companies to achieve high rates of box moving with minimal set up or training for both multi-SKU and single-SKU pallets, the firm said.
"Bringing the Kinema team into Boston Dynamics expands our perception and learning capabilities while the Pick product accelerates our entry into the logistics market," Boston Dynamics Founder and CEO Marc Raibert said in a release. "Beyond being a powerful tool for industrial robotic arms, Kinema technology will help our mobile manipulation robots tackle a wide variety of complex real-world tasks."
Last week, Boston Dynamics released a video of its two-wheeled "Handle" robot maneuvering through a warehouse while performing both multi-SKU pallet-building and depalletizing-to-conveyor tasks.
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