Boston headquarters of Rethink Robotics is bearing witness to experiments that could trigger a technological upheaval in the world. The workshop at present has become home to eight robots of bright red colors called Baxter. They are at present attended by a group of expert engineers. Each of these robots have a pair of beautiful blue eyes and upper torso that somewhat resembles to human. The friendly blue eyes appear on a small screen that keeps a track on the two hands of the robot as engineers experiment with them and move them.
On one side of the room you could see Brian Benoit, the senior project manager busy assembling a new robot called Sawyer, who apparently us boxer’s younger brother. Unlike its elder brother, Sawyer has only one arm and is also faster, small, and in a way more precise than Baxter. If things turn out the way the company is expecting it to be, the new robot will soon assist human and may as well work alongside them in the manufacturing units.
Baxter was introduced two years ago. The U.S.P of Baxter was that it showcased a simpler and safer design which was more intuitive to operate than most of the conventional robots we find across industries. Conventional industrial robots do not fit the bill of cost effectiveness. They incur high cost of installation. Using these robots is expensive as well. Moreover, these robots must be left to perform at a safe distance from human to ensure worker’s safety. Therefore, to function properly the conventional robots needed an environment that is high structured and unalterable.
Baxter, on the other hand, ensures more cost efficiency. It costs around US$25,000 but is only available to the manufacturers in the United States. However, in the past couple of years Rethink was able to sell several hundred of these robots.