Japanese researchers will soon get their hands on Baxter, the humanlike robot developed by Boston’s Rethink Robotics Inc. Nihon Binary, a Japanese robotics firm, has signed an exclusive deal to distribute Baxter robots. In September, Rethink struck similar deals to bring Baxter to customers in Europe and Great Britain. Baxter is designed to work in manufacturing plants alongside human workers. It’s designed with an industry-standard operating system so that it can be easily customized for a variety of tasks. Rethink‘s founder and chief technology officer, Rodney Brooks, is a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder of iRobot Corp., a major builder of robots for consumer and military markets.Hiawatha Bray can be reached at email@example.com.