Conventional industrial robots are scary behemoths, but Baxter is a new breed. The latest brainchild of celebrity roboticist Rodney Brooks, who helped invent the Roomba, Baxter is built for light repetitive tasks like packing and sorting. And it’s cheap enough and user-friendly enough—look at that face—for small outfits that otherwise couldn’t afford a robot worker.
Best Inventions of the Year 2012
Robots, rovers and the rest of 2012's most important innovations, from the affordable to the extreme
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