Need a research assistant? Baxter the Robot is available

Gigaom

Remember Baxter the Robot? The $22,000 machine  initially built for manufacturing applications can now be repurposed for research tasks, according to Rethink Robotics.

Baxter’s advantages lie in its ability to “learn” tasks from a person who walks it through a series of motions. The trainer need not be a computer programmer. And, because Baxter is sedentary — it doesn’t roll or walk around — there is no need for protective cages to separate it from human co-workers.  For tasks that can be performed at a countertop or an assembly line, Baxter could be an ideal worker.

Rethink has said all along that Baxter will move on to other types of jobs, including, potentially, home healthcare. Last fall, Rethink CEO Rodney Brooks promised a Software Development Kit (SDK) that would enable Baxter to be refashioned for new jobs over time. “Our story is manufacturing, but there will be new…

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By BeEtLjOoZ

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