Versatile Manipulation: Baxter Robot Used to Teach Robotics Fundamentals
From factory assembly lines to warehouses and living rooms, robots are always expanding their role in our lives. One such robot - a Baxter, developed by Rethink Robotics Inc., is now used in the Mechanical Engineering Department to teach the fundamentals of robotics. Starting in the Fall 2014 semester, students taking the Intro to Robotics class used the Baxter along with the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) for class assignments, implementing motion planning and trajectory generation algorithms. In future courses, Baxter and ROS projects will expand to include areas such as sensor-based manipulation, teleoperation and control, all of them critical as robots are stepping further into everyday human environments.