There's exciting news out of Boston today with the launch of Rethink Robotics's new robot. Rethink Robotics is developing a family of low cost and highly intelligent robots that can perform simple tasks in a manufacturing environment, increasing the productivity of the people around them. Rethink Robotics was founded by Rodney Brooks, former Director of the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and co-Founder of iRobot Corporation.
Rethink's robots can be taken out of the box, taught a task by anyone, and start work in a few hours, eliminating the need for systems integration. They are safe to interact with people at close range and are easy to train and retrain on the fly. They are nothing like any existing industrial robots.
While all of this is very exciting for the robotics industry, and certainly for our friends at Rethink, what we personally find most exciting is the role played by ROS in today's news. Rethink's new Baxter robot is, in the words of CEO Scott Eckert, "built upon ROS." We had some hint from Rethink's (then Heartland's) support of ROSCon 2012 that they were doing something with ROS, but we were very pleasantly surprised today to hear that ROS is such a central part of Baxter.
As ROS edges closer to its five-year anniversary, this is a great milestone for the ROS community. Rethink is actively hiring for a Senior Developer Relations Engineer with expertise in ROS, and expects that individual to play an important role as part of the ROS community.
Congratulations to everyone at Rethink Robotics, and we are looking forward to their contribution to the ROS community.