Definition

Baxter industrial robot

Part of the Robotics glossary:

Baxter is an industrial robot produced by Rethink Robotics of Boston, Massachusetts. It contains cameras, sensors, and software that allow nontechnical people to operate it with ease. Baxter is a so-called "intelligent robot" that exhibits a remarkable degree of common sense, and can expand and refine its capabilities as time passes. 

Baxter's features include:

  • Ease of deployment: Can usually be up and running within an hour.
  • Proximity sensing: When a person enters the room, Baxter gives visual feedback and automatically slows down.
  • Learns easily: No teach box is needed. Nontechnical users can physically guide Baxter through the motions that they want it to perform.
  • Versatility: Can perform a wide range of simple tasks.
  • No programming required: No need to hire third-party application developers.
  • Adaptability: Can adapt automatically to changes in the work environment.
  • Safety: Users do not need to deploy protective cages.
  • Extensibility: Users can add capabilities with a wide choice of software updates, or even create custom tasks.
  • Interchangeable end effectors: Choice of tools that can be easily swapped at the end of either arm.
  • Mobility: Can be mounted on a rolling pedestal for ease of movement.
  • Modest size: Comes in a crate no larger than a standard electric range, and can easily pass through standard doorways.

Baxter, which became available in October 2012, costs $22,000, considerably less expensive than traditional industrial robots, and has an "approachable" look including a GUI (graphical user interface) and a screen that displays a pair of expressive eyes. Rethink Robotics may provide a software developer's kit (SDK) in 2013 if users express enough interest.

See a video of Baxter in action:

This was last updated in October 2012
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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