Software Platform Drives Performance Improvements in Baxter: Twice as Fast, Twice as PreciseBOSTON, June 19, 2014 — (PRNewswire) — Rethink Robotics today announced Intera 3, a major upgrade to its advanced software platform. With Intera 3, Rethink Robotics doubles the performance and expands the abilities of Baxter, one of the first human-safe robots. Rethink Robotics' latest software makes Baxter work twice as fast, with twice the precision previously possible.
Intera 3 demonstrates the power of software to deliver continuous innovation more quickly and frequently, adding ever-increasing value to Rethink Robotics' inexpensive robot. It represents a game-changing approach to automation in manufacturing—moving robotics from fixed to flexible—with software-driven robots that adapt and evolve. As the software advances, Baxter's capabilities will continue to expand, even as the physical robot remains the same—debunking the age-old idea that hardware improvements are required to enhance performance and ability.
"We've told our customers that our robots will get better and better through software," said Scott Eckert, CEO at Rethink Robotics. "If you haven't seen Baxter lately, you need to take another look, thanks to the innovation delivered by our software platform, Intera."
With Intera 3, Baxter's skill set immediately expands to a broader range of applications, including:
- Tending to machines such as CNC lathes, ultrasonic welders and press brakes
- Packing and unpacking of parts and components
- Line loading and unloading
The software will be available for all existing Baxters, and all new production beginning in mid-July.
"We needed a more flexible automation solution that can quickly and easily be modified to meet the fluctuating demands of our customers," said Scott Borthwick, production supervisor at California-based Kaiser-Permanente Optical Lab. "With Rethink Robotics, the software makes it possible for our team to train Baxter on new tasks as they arise, with no loss of productivity."
Rethink Robotics' industry-leading combination of advanced software and robust hardware brings the future of interactive robotics to market now. For manufacturers and distributors, interactive robots which can work side-by-side with humans are a workforce multiplier, freeing up human labor to focus on work best performed by people. Industry leaders in automotive, plastics, electronics, consumer goods and other markets are already deploying Rethink Robotics' Baxter, gaining new flexibility and productivity. The resulting integrated workforce delivers lower costs, increased agility in responding to market and demand fluctuations and additional resources for fueling innovation – all contributing factors to competitive advantage.
"Automation is a critical part of our strategy to drive continuous innovation," said Andy Hill, manufacturing manager at Missouri-based King Innovation. "Rethink Robotics' software-driven Baxter supports our efforts in this mission, with ongoing advances in what the robot can do."
Intera 3 will be available directly from Rethink Robotics and its nationwide network of partners. For more information, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com.
Rethink Robotics, Inc. helps manufacturers meet the challenges of an agile economy with an integrated workforce, combining trainable, safe and cost-effective robots with skilled labor. Its Baxter robot, driven by Intera, an advanced software platform, gives world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, electronics and more, a workforce multiplier that optimizes labor. With Rethink Robotics, manufacturers increase flexibility, lower costs and can invest in skilled labor—all advantages in fueling continuous innovation and sustainable competitive advantage.
Committed to accelerating robotics innovation in manufacturing and beyond, Rethink Robotics' Baxter Research Robot gives academic and corporate research environments a humanoid robot platform with integrated sensors and an open software development kit for creating custom applications.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the company is funded by Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Two Sigma Ventures. For more information about Rethink Robotics, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com.
SOURCE Rethink Robotics