Why This Might Be the Model T of Workplace Robots

New applications, innovation, competition and mass production drive down prices of most tech products over time while improving capability – and that is true of robots. A new startup company, Unbounded Robotics, is selling 3-foot robots for $35,000 to academic and industry researchers who currently would pay $100,000 plus for similar technology or build themselves. Now researchers can purchase the affordable base robot, tinker with software and capabilities, and push its limits. “UBR-1 has also been designed to be capable and safe enough to help out in real workplaces such as warehouses and factories,” reports Tom Simonite for MIT Technology Review. CEO Melonee Wise reports the robot goes on sale in summer of 2014 and expects them to be stocking shelves within two years. She calls UBR-1 “the Model T of robots.” Robots made by other firms already work alongside humans at Amazon and similar production lines, but with less mobility. For now, UBR-1 must be programmed by purchasers, but the company is also developing modular software for specialized tasks that can be downloaded by customers. – YaleGlobal

Why This Might Be the Model T of Workplace Robots

Mobile, one-armed robot costing $35,000 heads to research labs in 2014; researchers will prepare UBR-1 for workplace tasks; CEO compares to the Model T
Tom Simonite
Thursday, October 31, 2013
© 2013

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