All About Robots
By Prateek Sahay
Industrial and Farming
Rethink, recently renamed from Heartland Robotics, unveiled its flagship manufacturing robot named Baxter in September, 2012. Priced at $22,000, Baxter is meant for simple assembly line purposes. The robots key feature is the ability to be taught tasks using human guidance of his arms to, in effect, "show" him how to handle objects on an assembly line. Baxter's arms support a maximum payload of 5 pounds. Baxter also shows a multitude of emotions for better relatibility to the human workers it will work alongside on his head-screen, which also features a camera with face-detection.
The idea Rethink pursued while building Baxter was to built a more people-friendly robot. Up until now, the majority of robots have stayed in compartments separate from humans because they were very dangerous to be around, such as automobile construction robots. Baxter is very safe to be around, and will automatically pause in place if he bumps into someone or something.