Baxter is designed to perform a variety of repetitive production tasks for use in manufacturing. The robot's arms provide 70 degrees of freedom and can handle 5 pounds of material each.
The first Baxter was shipped in January 2013, and the first research bot launched in April of the same year; officials said several hundred have already been shipped. Eventually, Rethink hopes Baxter will become self-aware and able to assemble other Baxters or aid in a nursing home. Baxter costs approximately $25,000.
Have you seen the movie "Short Circuit" (1986, director - John Badham)? I first watched this in 1997/8 when I was studing engineering. I liked it very much. As you have mentioned "robots making robots" I recalled that movie first even before "iRobot" which also I liked. :)
The garments don't talk to each other (e.g. two dance teachers wearing a track suit wouldn't have communication between the suits) but the microcontrollers talk to each other. In the case of the dance garment, they relay info via lights while, in the NASA shirt, information is sent to a computer to be analyzed. Georgia Tech and NASA are working on that process now.
Having seen the movie Baxter (1989), a chilling horror flick about a vicious dog narrated by his inner voice, I think I'll stay far away from a robot named Baxter. Who enforces Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics these days?
[Subject line is Baxter's catch-phrase: "Beware of the dog who thinks".]
As regards to Rethink Robotics' Baxter, classically trained Applied Mechanics specialists like me always get thrown off a bit when one offers phrases like "robot's arms provide 70 degrees of freedom!" A better phrase would be "a total of 70 degrees of freedom" and even there one should make a distinction on mechanical degrees of freedom (3 translations and 3 rotations). Because the MEMS crowd, particularly the marketing folks, are already lumping temperature and magnetic heading in to degrees of freedom when describing a multifunction sensor.
@Sanjib.A: you have a point there! Technically the way the jumpsuit is described isn't I-o-T, whether wired or wireless. It is just a collection of components connected by a bus. But one could argue that the jacket is indeed an I-o-T when it talks to other 'things' in a personal-area-network!
" A central microcontroller provides power and I2C data connections to each limb."
Just trying to understand the philosophy behind including the "Jumpsuit" in the category of IoT devices; since the sensors in the limbs talk to the microcontroller using I2C interface, how this suit qualifies to be a IoT device? Are these individual jumpsuits (microcontrollers) talk to each other?