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Venturing into a new category of robots that can act using sound judgement, Rethink Robotics has created Baxter, a manufacturing robot that can work alongside other human coworkers.
Utilizing cameras and sonar, Baxter is able to detect and interact with its surrounding environment. The robot’s most impressive feature, however, is its behavior-based intelligence system that allows it to readily change tasks and quickly adapt to different variables.
Baxter also comes pre-assembled with ready-to-use software so it can be up and running almost immediately after it’s out of the box. Unlike most other manufacturing robots that need to be programmed by highly skilled technicians, Baxter can be trained by non-technical personnel by showing it the task you want it to perform. It’s the perfect solution for small manufacturing companies that can’t afford fully automated assembly lines, and also large-scale production facilities that are revising processes previously considered infeasible to automate.
Rethink Robotics plans to release Baxter to the general public sometime in October 2012.