Stretch is an $18,000 robot that can vacuum your couch

Stretch is a robot with a strong grip and it’s ready to do your laundry. 

Hello Robot launched the 50-pound bot on Tuesday. The startup was founded by Google’s former robotics director, Aaron Edsinger, and Georgia Tech professor Charlie Kemp, who met at MIT. 

The helpful robot can be teleoperated from a computer, although Hello Robot says it will eventually work autonomously. With the gripper, 3D camera, laser, and other sensors, and the help of open-source software, you can use the robot to open cabinet doors, grab a coffee cup, wipe down a table, or vacuum the couch. 

Who needs a Roomba now? 

Stretch’s “research edition” goes on sale Tuesday. You can buy Stretch for your home for nearly $18,000 — but right now, the main customers are expected to be corporations and research teams. Eventually, it could be used to assist people with limited mobility. Hello Robot even sells a six-pack of Stretches for just under $100,000.