You can go one step further and become a customer at your own company. Recently I spoke to the director of a large company in locks and door fittings that had phoned to their own premises under a false name and with a slightly twisted voice to ask whether all…
Menzing is keeping a close eye on Baxter
It is an incredibly versatile robot that can execute simple, conveyer-belt tasks in smaller production and assembly companies. Because, using his sensors, Baxter knows where he must hold objects, he is flexible. With that, he is substantially different than the other robots we are familiar with from the car industry. Baxter does not need to be programmed. That is sensational. Instead of having to be programmed one line of code at a time by a programmer, Baxter can simply learn from people who show him how to do something. If one his colleagues shows him how to do something by manually showing him the movements involved once, Baxter will simply repeat those movements. On top of that, his system has sensors that prevent collisions with humans, and the robot has been given a type of face with which it can convey emotions.
Globalisation has led to the fact that the world has become our playing field in the search for the best and most affordable parts. It has made the logistical sector into the fastest-growing sector in the world. The arrival of this type of robots may, however, unleash a new revolution. Knowledge does not need to be transported in containers. Differences in the costs of labour allow us to transport containers across the world’s oceans, and these differences are increasingly being reduced. An average labourer in Pakistan costs two dollars an hour; Baxter costs four. But, Baxter’s work can be conducted close to the selling market, thereby diminishing many of the logistical costs. Highly interesting developments, which Menzing is keeping a close eye on, because Baxter can have an impact on the cost price, the time to market, and sustainability.