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Who In the World is Baxter?

Who In the World is Baxter?

Manufacturing technology is constantly evolving, and one aspect of that technology that we’ve always found pretty interesting is robotics.

A new technology by Rethink Robotics that we first introduced back in April, called Baxter, could change the way that humans think about robots, and the way that robots work in a factory.

Baxter, who you can see dressed up in a sombrero to the right of this article, has several unique features that make him unlike any other robot around, including:

  • Behavior-based intelligence
  • Human presence detection
  • Natural compliance with other humans around
  • Visual object identification

Most uniquely, though, Baxter really imitates his human counterparts, both through his “face” and through his “common sense” operation. What this means is that there’s no complex programming involved in training him to do tasks. By showing him the operation, he will learn it and do it correctly. Right now, this mainly means sorting objects or picking things out–so really, relatively low-skill jobs.

Though this might scare some people into thinking that Baxter could be the start of a manufacturing takeover by robots, we just don’t think that’s the case. As IndustryWeek reminds us, Baxter is meant for menial tasks–not for complex things like welding or milling.

So if you’re interested in a skilled job in advanced manufacturing, you don’t exactly have to worry that Baxter will come and take over your job any time soon.

Technology like this is exactly the reason that the U.S. excels so much at manufacturing. We’re constantly innovating, and adding new technology, all of which keeps us at the forefront of advanced manufacturing.

We’ve included a video of Baxter from Rethink Robotics to give you a little better idea of what he does. Pretty cool if you ask us!

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photo credit: jurvetson via photopin cc

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