Rethink Robotics have released what they claim is a game-changing software update of the company’s flagship interactive production robot, Baxter. The 2.0 software will introduce a new set of applications, making Baxter an even more effective productivity tool for American manufacturers. Existing customers will be able to easily download the new software and upgrade their Baxter robot.
The Robot report says that Rethink Robotics’ Baxter robots are being produced and sold at a rate of 500+ units for 2013.
Baxter is now able to pick and place parts at any axis, allowing the robot to perform a broad array of new tasks, such as picking objects off of a shelf, or loading machines in a horizontal motion. The 2.0 software also allows the customer to define waypoints with increased accuracy; users will be able to define the exact trajectory that they want Baxter’s arms to follow simply by moving them. For example, the robot can be taught where to move its arms in and out of a machine. In addition, the 2.0 software enables customers to train Baxter to hold its arms in space for a predetermined amount of time, or until a signal indicates they can begin moving again. This makes Baxter useful for holding parts in front of scanners, inspection cameras or painting stations, and for working more interactively with other machines (i.e., moving its hand out of a machine while it cycles).
In addition to its expanded task capabilities, Baxter with 2.0 software also features a number of overall performance improvements. Baxter can now operate at a significantly faster pace, pick and place objects with increased consistency and move more fluidly between points. With improvements to its integrated vision, Baxter now has the ability to detect and distinguish between a broader range of part geometries, further broadening its capacity for variably shaped objects.
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