There is little doubt that industrial robots have revolutionized the manufacturing industry, automating tasks, saving money and making workplaces safer. But for a long time, only the largest companies could afford industrial robotics deployments. That paradigm may be shifting, however, and the new order may be led by an affordable robot named Baxter. And it seems that the little guy is starting to draw some serious attention.
At the recent Association for Advancing Automation convention at McCormick Place in Chicago, Baxter drew quite a crowd. Convention goers packed round booth 860 to see the six-foot tall robot in action. Check out the video below to see for yourself.
Since the announcement of the affordable robot back in September, Baxter has been generating quite a bit of buzz. He is designed to perform lightweight, repetitive jobs like packing boxes and sorting stock. Compared to most other industrial robots, Baxter is small and sleek, while the automotive robots are hulking machines designed for heavy lifting.
One benefit of Baxter is that he can work alongside people. The larger robots are separated from human workers for safety reasons, but Baxter can be integrated into the workplace right next to human hands.
And Baxter is easy to use. "The robot is the interface," Scott Eckert, president and chief executive of Rethink Robotics, the company behind Baxter, told the Chicago Tribune. "We wanted to make it so easy that a typical factory worker can train the robot to do a job. The interface is very visual to guide you through a set of simple tasks."
Edited by Rich Steeves