In general, the cost of owning an industrial robot has dropped in recent years, but for smaller companies the notion of using an in-house robot is still an expensive and complicated affair. The affordable and easily programmable new Baxter robot wants to change all that.
Created by Rethink Robotics, Baxter has a face that looks like a tablet and simultaneously acts as an input interface and a means for detecting what information the robot is processing, augmented by face animations that indicate Baxter’s current “emotional” state. According to the company, the robot requires no programming knowledge, allowing users to direct its actions by direct physical manipulation and simple on-screen prompts. Baxter can handle diverse factory tasks such as loading, machine operation, light assembly, sorting and inspecting, and packing and unpacking.