Interesting post, Al. The way the different technologies are combined is really interesting especially at the industrial side of robotics. After watching the video I feel these robots have movements similar to humans.
Thanks for the clarifying the Open Source question I had about Baxter. I'm quite fascinated by this technology and how its becoming more main stream in small tech businesses and major corporations. Thanks for the additional links related to this topic.
mrdon, open source software is a major aspect of Baxter and how it's been designed to be different from other industrial robots, as we covered here http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=259420 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=263186
Just noticing that a lot of these systems are just being employed doing simple pick and place and as such could be reduced to a mere 2-3 axes and cost reduced even further. The key in this robots flexibility is then reduced to the adaptive nature of gripper assembly. Robotiq got this right. Baxter is first and foremost a collaborative robot and is designed to work side by side, if not even interact with humans in the same environment, hence it's compliant spring loaded joints with load cells.
Thanks for your viewpoint. Also, I didn't know Baxter used open source software: I'll need to investigate this development method further. I know Rodney Brooks is an advocate for the Maker Movement and could be the reason for using open source software with Baxter. Oh, I just realized, Rodney's use of open source software could be from his MIT research days with cognitive based robots like Cog and Kismet
I agree. Although programming robots uses a teach positioning technique, I think what makes Baxter different from other robotic units is the teaching pendant is on the unit itself (the arm) instead of an external handheld device.
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