Plastics cut costs, boost quality of hot new humanoid robot

10/05/2012

Rethink Robotics (Boston, MA) is making extensive use of plastics in its new humanoid robot called "Baxter" to reduce costs and improve quality.

Six different plastics processors, all based in the United States, are doing all of the molding and thermoforming for the project and providing all of the tooling. One of the goals of Rethink Robotics is to
make robots much easier to program and less expensive so that they can make small manufacturers in the United States more competitive against the so-called "China Price".

"We decided early on that the product had to be designed for cost and quality so we engaged suppliers in a very early stage of the design," said Jim Daly, vice president of manufacturing and operations at Rethink Robotics in an interview with Plastics Today.

Those early meetings tilted the design team toward extensive use of plastics....
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