Dan W

Software Developer

Happy Birthday Baxter

Sep 19, 2012

Baxter is a new industrial robot. It has two arms, a name and a face. Sticking a face on it is the gamification equivalent of the robotics world.

You program Baxter by moving the arms through the motions you want to do. The worker can program their own replacement robot. Personifying the robot is perhaps an attempt to make it appear unthreatening:

Brooks has attended some of the field tests to see how potential customers interact with the robots. He says that when they bring Baxter onto a factory floor, some workers look puzzled, while others just laugh at the machine. But after they use Baxter for a while, people realize how the robot can help them. “And then something interesting happens,” Brooks says, his eyebrows rising. “People sort of personify the robot. They say, ‘It’s my buddy!’ ”

To me the face seems a bit off however. Shifty. Hungover.

And the thing that immediately comes to mind watching the intro video is David.

I'm sure Baxter is harmless. It even likes hugs.

IEEE Spectrum have more information about Baxter.