Rethink Robotics has released a software update to Baxter, the company’s premiere collaborative automation product.
Collaborative robots work via simplified instruction with and around human workers. To program a collaborative robot like Baxter, which IMT Machining Journal met at Automate 2013 earlier this year, a worker need only to move the robot’s arms or operate his functions physically, and the robot logs the movements for repetition later. Once a programmer logs a series of movements for Baxter, the robot can repeat a veritable endless series of iterations of identical movements. Further, Baxter is designed to halt if it comes in contact with anything — or anyone — it shouldn’t. If a worker gets in the way of Baxter’s operation, the robot pauses instead of moving, preventing injury.
All of these functions have been sharpened in Baxter’s 2.0 release. The sleepy-eyed robot can now pick up and move objects along any axis. The motion path of Baxter’s arms is more accurate, moving along clearly defined paths programmed by the worker. Baxter can be programmed to wait for signals or a period of time to elapse before continuing on “his” operation. Minor tweaks to performance have also enhanced consistency, accuracy, and speed.
“Over the past year, our customers have seen increased productivity and efficiency with the help of Baxter,” said Scott Eckert, president and CEO of Rethink Robotics. “While Baxter’s 2.0 software will greatly expand the possibilities for both new and existing customers, this release is just the beginning. Baxter is a unique, upgradable software platform, and the robot’s capabilities will continue to evolve to help manufacturers increase their overall efficiency, and help them realize an even greater return on their investment over time.”
Check out this video highlighting Baxter’s enhanced features below.