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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

US Industrial Renaissance with Baxter Robot

Credit: Rethink Robotics
After years of rumors US company Rethink Robotics has presented its new generation industrial robot Baxter. Founder, Chairman and CTO Rodney Brooks will help US  manufacturers to improve efficiency, increase productivity and reduce their need for offshoring. His robotic dream is to re-vitalize and revolutionize Made in USA robotics and manufacturing.
He has recently criticized Japanese robotics as fantasy engineering and demonstrating wind up toys. His refers to the fact that Japan needed help from USA to inspect the damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima with robots from iRobot. In Brooks opinion robot videos very often don´t tell whether capablity is robust capability. Lab demos often make many non-obvious simplifying assumptions that researchers often are unaware of themselves.

According to Brooks a new generation of versatile and affordable robots is needed to cope with non-attractiveness of many service jobs, rehabilitation and assistance of elderly people, the need for more productivity to compete globally. The new robot Baxter has capabilites that allow ordinary people to directly control and "program" this sophisticated robot. Brooks believes that Baxter will change the nature of robots and how they are used.

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