“Baxter industrial robot aims at bringing automation to smaller manufacturers”
Ordinarily, when we think of places where industrial robots are used, we picture the factory floors of deep-pocketed corporations such as Ford or Honda. That could soon change, however, with today’s announcement of the Baxter robot. Made by Boston-based Rethink Robotics, it costs about half as much as most of the least expensive industrial robots currently on the market. Also, it is reportedly very user-friendly – no robotics experts or custom software are required when teaching it new tasks.
I can understand some of the anthropomorphic assimilation of robots when they have “arms” and “hands” but, in this case, the facial feature on this robot is not really necessary, especially for the added cost of being on a flat-screen monitor, but also a bit creepy.
Two lights for eyes and maybe an LED smile are not only sufficient with communicating facial expressions but I think would better fit with the overall character of it. See: EVE from Wall-E. At the very least, for $22,000 they could’ve done a better job of defining what its “face” could look like other than having it appear like some children’s show cartoon character.
This is typically what happens when they let engineers do design work.