Collaborative ‘cobots’ creator Rethink Robotics shuts down
The Verge posts that Rethink Robotics, the Boston company that pioneered the development of “cobots” —collaborative robots designed to work alongside humans — shut down on Wednesday.
The company’s closure was abrupt and surprised members of the robotics community. According to the Boston Globe, Rethink had been exploring a deal to sell itself to another firm, but the acquisition fell through at the last minute. “We thought that we had a deal that we were going to be able to close,” Rethink chief executive Scott Eckert told the Globe.
Rethink was founded in 2008 by Rodney Brooks and Ann Whitaker. It introduced its first product, the Baxter robot, in 2011; followed by Sawyer, a smaller, faster version, in 2015. The robots were intended to usher in a new age, where machines would work safely next to humans, rather than confined to their own sections on the factory floor.
Rethink will now be selling off its intellectual property and patent portfolio, with 91 employees let go. The company is the second major robotics firm to close in recent months, with Mayfield Robotics, makers of the social robot Kuri, shutting down in August.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.