Meet Baxter the friendly factory robot

first_imgBaxter is the name of a robotics project from startup company Rethink Robotics. Less like Roomba and more like Rosie from The Jetsons, Baxter rolls around on four wheels, has humanoid arms, and comes with a display used for programming him. As a bonus, when you aren’t actively tweaking his controls, the screen displays a pair of cartoon eyes to give Baxter a face. His main purpose is to work on a factory floor alongside human workers.The cost for owning a Baxter model is set to be around $22,000, so about the same as a mid-range car. Rethink points out that after a couple years, that turns out to be the equivalent of having an employee who works for around $4 per hour. In other words, you could have two of them for the price of one human employee.To be sure, Baxter is not designed for high-capacity manufacturing purposes. He probably wouldn’t be able to handle high-speed intensive tasks any better than Lucille Ball. He is instead built for small businesses that have smaller and more varied processes. In addition, companies don’t have to spend an arm and a leg getting Baxter up and running.Rethink  says that Baxter can be programmed in a very user-friendly way. You don’t need to be an engineer from MIT to get Baxter to do what you need him to do as can be seen in the video above. And what he can do are basic tasks like picking up and moving items from one location to another.Baxter is gaining a lot of interest from the robotics community because he is not just a concept. Rethink plans to begin selling him in October.via NY Timeslast_img

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