Rethink Robotics finally get their mojo with Sawyer

28 September 2015

share this:

Rethink Robotics displayed their new single-armed Sawyer robot at the RoboBusiness Conference and Expo in San Jose on Wednesday. It was Sawyer’s first public outing and the crowd of over 1,600 was paying attention.

Sawyer was running a machine tending application that required opening and closing a door and snapping pieces into place – tasks electronics manufacturers regularly need in their assembly process – and it performed perfectly. With the aid of its new Cognex camera, Sawyer is able to find what it’s looking for even when the piece isn’t exactly where it is supposed to be.

The New York Times recently put Rethink Robotics on its list of 50 technology companies likely to be valued at $1bn or more in years to come. (Also included were 3D Robotics and Airware.) Funders seem to agree, having provided $113.5m in seven rounds of funding.

During my interview with Rethink’s President and CEO Scott Eckert, at the RoboBusiness show, he outlined a rosy future for Sawyer, Rethink, and the company’s other robot, the  two-armed Baxter. Eckert confirmed that, up until recently, Baxter sales were mostly in the US and a good portion were to academia (Rethink only recently passed the 1,000 sales mark). But today, after a software update in June which enhanced Baxter’s speed and precision, its sales are increasing by 40%-70% each quarter. Sales of Sawyer are already backlogged.

It’s clear that Rethink has responded to customer feedback. The new Sawyer robot has a longer reach and more precision than Baxter. The latter has also been upgraded and is now three times faster and twice as precise as the original version. Certainly, Rethnk’s main competitor, Universal Robots, now has more to contend with.

This short video shows a General Electric division, GE Lighting, using the new Sawyer robot.

Robotiq, a Canadian provider of grippers, recently compared Rethink’s Sawyer and Universal’s UR3 robots. Here are the results:


tags: , , , , , ,

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.

Related posts :

Tesla’s Optimus robot isn’t very impressive – but it may be a sign of better things to come

Musk has now unveiled a prototype of the robot, called Optimus, which he hopes to mass-produce and sell for less than US$20,000 (A$31,000).
04 October 2022, by

Bipedal robot achieves Guinness World Record in 100 metres

Cassie the robot, developed at Oregon State University, records the fastest 100 metres by a bipedal robot.
03 October 2022, by and

Breaking through the mucus barrier

A capsule that tunnels through mucus in the GI tract could be used to orally administer large protein drugs such as insulin.
02 October 2022, by

Women in Tech leadership resources from IMTS 2022

There’ve been quite a few events recently focusing on Women in Robotics, Women in Manufacturing, Women in 3D Printing, in Engineering, and in Tech Leadership. One of the largest tradeshows in the US is IMTS 2022. Here I bring you some resources shared in the curated technical content and leadership sessions.
29 September 2022, by and

MIT engineers build a battery-free, wireless underwater camera

The device could help scientists explore unknown regions of the ocean, track pollution, or monitor the effects of climate change.
27 September 2022, by

How do we control robots on the moon?

In the future, we imagine that teams of robots will explore and develop the surface of nearby planets, moons and asteroids - taking samples, building structures, deploying instruments.
25 September 2022, by , and

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association