Q&A with Rethink Robotics founder Rodney Brooks

August 15, 2016 - 07:45am

Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, introduced the concept of cost-effective and collaborative robotics in manufacturing. He explains why he believes robots like Rethink’s Baxter and Sawyer won’t endanger jobs.

"The robot can’t do everything a person can do — just like an electric drill doesn’t replace a contractor. Robots aren’t dexterous. They can only do certain things, and they’re letting the person do the more cognitive parts. We’re undervaluing workers when we say that robots are replacing them. We’re undervaluing an ordinary person’s intelligence."

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A Baxter robot at work for Donnelly Custom Manufacturing in Alexandria, Minn. (Image credit: Rethink Robotics)

Related Glossary Terms

  • robotics


    Discipline involving self-actuating and self-operating devices. Robots frequently imitate human capabilities, including the ability to manipulate physical objects while evaluating and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. See industrial robot; robot.


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