Boston Dynamics and GF - Stretching the boundaries of what is possible

After only a few years of engineering, Boston Dynamics has recently released a new versatile mobile robot. The so-called Stretch™ robot is equipped with a mobile base, which GF Casting Solutions collaborated on in the development stages.

An interview with Marc Theermann (Chief Strategy Officer), Shirley Goh (Product Marketing Manager), Andi Wippermann (New Product Introduction Program Manager) at Boston Dynamics.


The robotics industry is one of the fastest growing markets, and its impact is expected to transform many aspects of modern society. Due to rapid technological advancements, the robotics industry is constantly evolving and producing new technologies. In order to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation, Boston Dynamics relies on high-end suppliers with specific expertise. This is why Boston Dynamics consulted with GF Casting Solutions during the development of a sustainable design for the Stretch robot’s mobile base chassis.

Boston Dynamics in a nutshell

Founded in 1992 in Waltham, Massachusetts, Boston Dynamics is one of the leading companies in the robotics industry. As a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the company has innovation in its DNA: Boston Dynamics specializes in advanced robots with cutting-edge mobility, dexterity, and intelligence. The company has a team of talented engineers and scientists who are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in robotics. To date, Boston Dynamics has built several groundbreaking robots, including the iconic quadrupedal robot Spot, which has sold over 500 units worldwide, and the humanoid robot Atlas, a research and development platform known for its agility and versatility.

A testimonial for engineering excellence and agility 

Recently, Boston Dynamics released a new generation of robots. The Stretch robot is a versatile robot that will be able to handle a variety of tasks, including unloading trucks, stacking boxes, and palletizing goods. According to Shirley Goh, Product Marketing Manager at Boston Dynamics, “the robot is different from anything else on the market”. It has a payload of 23 kilograms and a vertical reach of up to 3.2 meters, Shirley explains, making it suitable for use of warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing. In work environments of that kind, Stretch is able to take over tasks that are monotonous, repetitive, extremely physically demanding or dangerous for humans.

In other words, the robot relieves humans of the kind of work that is unpleasant or poses a threat to their health. The custom end-of-arm tool and arm are mounted on a mobile base, the chassis for which Boston Dynamics consulted GF Casting Solutions during development. As casting was not a core competence at Boston Dynamics, GF Casting Solutions was consulted during the overhaul of the design of the chassis for its fully automated production. Within only 12 weeks, GF Casting Solutions produced the first 7 prototypes in Leipzig, Germany, and delivered them to Boston Dynamics in the US. The prototypes were manufactured using a sand-casting method that involves 3D-printed cores. This approach allowed a high-quality surface finish alongside quick production while the lead-time and tooling costs remained minimal.

Norbert Pomplun, Key Account Manager at GF Casting Solutions, highlights the partnership with Boston Dynamics as a prime opportunity for GF to fully leverage its competencies along the entire value chain. “With our expertise in co-development, prototyping, casting, machining and logistics, we offered a comprehensive suite of services to meet the needs of Boston Dynamics” Norbert stated.

Looking back on the development process, the collaboration was "easy, professional and very fast", says Andi Wippermann, New Product Introduction Program Manager at Boston Dynamics. During the early stages of the design process, exchanging ideas in open and honest discussions and having short iteration loops were crucial to develop the optimal component for the robot. Additionally, rapid prototyping and technical feedback from GF helped Boston Dynamics meet the impressive schedule. Andi emphasized that Boston Dynamics “reduced costs and did not compromise on the performance of the component, which, combined with the rapid prototyping capability, were good reasons to work with GF.”

Stretch robot’s mobile base chassis

Interested to learn more? Get in touch with our expert


Norbert Pomplun

Key Account Manager

GF Casting Solutions

Georg-Fischer-Strasse 2

04249 Leipzig