The Baxters are coming!

We blogged six months ago about – ‘The robots are coming’ – and now it seems they have been given a name – Baxter.  This is what the first “adaptive, manufacturing robot” has been called by its designers and developers Rethink Robotics.   There are already approximately 1 million robots in use around the world, mainly in car assembly plants.  But these are generally large, fixed and performing the same task over and over again.  Baxter is not like that.  It is moveable, can be ‘trained’ to perform a wide variety of tasks, and interacts with its environment.   It even has a display screen on which its ‘face’ can display ’emotions’ – for instance, if it detects a change in its environment it can express ‘surprise’.  Moreover it is relatively cheap – the same price as a mid range car.

To date, robots have largely been part of mass assembly processes designed to be lean.  Baxter is designed to be agile.   If you want to see more about it, the Rethink Robotics website has some great videos of Baxter doing its (his?) thing…

This entry was posted in Chap 10 Processes and technology, Sector: Manufacturing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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