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October 10 2012

Human-safe robot could revolutionise manufacturing

Properly designed, robots can be useful in a lot of practical, everyday scenarios. Still, although they can be taught to make pancakes, fold towels, and perform other specialised tasks, the long-awaited general-purpose automaton has remained tantalisingly out of reach.

That looks set to change, with today's unveiling of Baxter, an all-purpose robot built by the Boston-based firm Rethink Robotics.

Baxter won't be coming to a kitchen near you any time soon - according to the company's release, it is designed to excel at fast, repetitive labour in manufacturing jobs. And at $22,000 a pop, you probably can't afford one in your house anyway.

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