Photo: David Yellen for IEEE Spectrum
So, you remember how we took that trip to Boston back in June to see iRobot? Well, it wasn't really to see iRobot, as awesome as that was. Really, it was to see Rethink Robotics, meet Rodney Brooks, and find out what they'd been working on so secretly all this time. So yes, we've known all about it since June but were sworn to secrecy, until just this second: today, right now, Rethink Robotics is announcing Baxter, a dual-armed robot factory helper robot designed to take over simple tasks for humans. It's completely safe to work around, a cinch to program with absolutely zero training, and most importantly, it only costs $22,000, making it eminently affordable for even small businesses.
Rethink Robotics and Baxter will be the cover story for the October issue of IEEE Spectrum magazine, but you can read our entire article right now on the Spectrum website. Let us know what you think, and feel free to post questions! We spent over six hours at Rethink interviewing all kinds of different people and getting demos of Baxter, and we couldn't possibly stuff all of that information into just one article, so we're happy to expand on whatever you're most interested in.
Check out our feature article on Rethink and Baxter here.
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.