First Look at the New Collaborative Robot – Meet Sawyer

Early last week we received our Sawyer robot at our facility in Exton, PA. The latest collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics features a single arm design that can handle a higher payload and increased precision as compared to Baxter, the first robot from Rethink.

Sawyer in the ONExia Innovation Lab

I spent the morning with our Robotics Specialist, Justin Griffin as he unpacked and powered up Sawyer for the first time to get his reactions about the newest resident in the ONExia Innovation Lab.

Sawyer Crate
Unpacking Sawyer

Sawyer came shipped to us from Rethink in in three corrugated boxes and one wooden crate, standard packing for anyone making the purchase. The crate contained the newly design pedestal with the other three boxes containing the robot, controller, and accessories.

Within 20 minutes (half of that time was spent opening the wooden crate) the robot was on its pedestal and the controller mounted. The only tools needed to do so where a 20 mm socket wrench and a hex key set. Following the assembly we wheeled Sawyer into the Lab for power up.

Sawyer Controller
Inside the Sawyer Controller

Unlike Baxter, Sawyer is not self contained and comes with a separate controller which houses all the I/O, pneumatics, USB and Ethernet connections. From that box two cables are connected to the robot itself. The power button is also located on the controller. After the initial power-up a calibration must be done where the robot moves its arm throughout the work envelope. It is worth noting that when doing this the work area should be clear. If Sawyer was to bump into anything the process needs to be started over.

After the calibration was complete (took about 5 minutes) Justin attached the electric parallel gripper to the arm that is similar to the one for Baxter. The two, although identical in shape, are not interchangeable. The software is identical to Baxter with both robots running off the Intera Platform. That’s a nice feature!

Intera 3
Intera 3

In just a few minutes of hands on interaction Justin had Sawyer running a basic pick and place repetitive task at a decent speed with noticeable precision. As he was training the task I took notes of the the features he found unique to the new robot.

The most prominent being the three new buttons under the control dial. The “O” enables a zero gravity mode for moving the arm when gripping the cuff is not easy. The “square” enables free movement to see menus and screens and the “X” is an additional navigational button for jumping to specific teaching screens. Anther feature he found to be useful were the indicator lights on the cuff that tell the user when they have hit a hard stop within the rotation.

As Justin continues to work with Sawyer I will continue to post his successes with robot. If you are interested in seeing Sawyer, please contact us today. Sawyer is a ready to hit the road!

Author: Tim Pelesky

I am the marketing department at ONExia. When I am not promoting automation technology I can be found hiking our country, playing hockey, or defending the self given title as best golfer in the office.

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