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Rethink Robotics unveils humanoid factory robot

A humanoid robot, designed to operate alongside factory workers in a host of industrial settings, has been unveiled by US company Rethink Robotics.

Dubbed Baxter, the robot is based on work carried out by Rodney Brooks, Rethink’s chief technology officer and a former director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.

According to its developers, the machine’s versatility and relatively low cost will bring the benefits of automation within the reach of manufacturers that have been unable to make the huge investments traditionally required.

Meet Baxter

Brooks claimed that Baxter is able understand and adapt to its environment — making it safe for use alongside humans — and can be shown how to perform tasks, rather than requiring sophisticated computer programming.

Retailing at $22,000 (£13,500), Baxter will begin shipping next month.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Can't see this getting CE marked somehow!

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  • The lack of a robot to lift objects from a conveyor belt isn't a growth limiting factor in any business I know of.

    I'd have been more impressed if it could populate a PCB or machine a part to 1/10th of a thou without the "sophisticated programming" spoken of so derisively.

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  • What load can the robot pick up?

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