Hardware Components

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This page provides detailed information about the hardware of the Sawyer robot.

Sawyer Hardware Overview

This section provides a basic overview of the hardware that makes up the Sawyer robot. For more technical specifications, see our Sawyer Arm Specifications section of this page.

Sawyer Overview

Sawyer Hardware Overview.PNG

Training Cuff

Use the training cuffs to move the arm, manipulate the state of the gripper, and secondarily, to select on-screen options.

Sawyer Training Cuff.png

  1. Zero-G Mode - Squeeze this switch at the indentation in the cuff to move the robot’s arm. When this switch is squeezed, the blue indicator on the arm’s navigator button lights up.
  2. Grasp Button - Press to toggle a parallel gripper open or closed, or a vacuum gripper on or off.
  3. Action Button - Press to select items on the display screen. Create waypoints, Hold actions; select, copy, or move actions on the task map, as well as outline a visual search area.
  4. Traning Cuff Light - Indicator light to provide feedback when actions are performed and display the current state (ie: running in zero-g mode) of the arm.


Use the navigator on the arm or base to scroll to and interact with options on the screen.

SDK Navigator.png

Sawyer Electrical Specifications

Description Spec
Interface Standard 120VAC power. Robot power bus and internal PC both have “universal” power supplies and support  90 - 264V AC (47 - 63Hz)
Max Consumption 4A at 120V AC, 480W max per unit
Electrical Efficiency 87% to 92%
Power Supply Uses industrial-grade DC switching power supply for robot power bus
Tolerance to sags Sags tolerated to 90V. Sustained interruption will require manual power-up
Voltage Flicker Holdup time 20mS
Voltage Unbalance Single phase operation only

Sawyer Environmental Specifications

Description Spec
Environment Indoor Use
Altitude Up to 2000 meters
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C
Relative Humidity 80% for temperatures up to 31°C, decreasing linearly to 50% relative humidity at 40°C
Pollution Degree 2

Sawyer Arm Specifications

The arm of the Sawyer Robot is the most important component of the robot and having a solid understanding of the different specifications of the arm is crucial when it comes to understanding how the robot operates. The information in the sections below will provide you with the knowledge necessary to gain a better understanding of how the Sawyer works.

Arm Joint API

Joint and Link Names

Sawyer joint and link names are referenced many times in technical documentation and will be referenced by Rethink Robotics support representatives regularly. The diagram below labels the joints and link of the Sawyer arm.

Sawyer Joints and Links Named.PNG

The joint and link naming for the Sawyer arm starts at the base and increases incrementally up to the wrist. The joints are named J0 - J6 and the links are named L0 - L6.

The joints in the Sawyer are also classified into two categories (roll or pitch) by their movement. The small table below lists each joint in one of these two categories.

Joint Classification
Roll Pitch
J0, J2, J4, J6 J1, J3, J5

Link Lengths

Link lengths for Sawyer's joints are measured in mm, from the center of one joint to the center of the next. They can be found in the image and table below.

Sawyer Link Lengths.PNG

Link Lengths
Link Name Length
L0 81mm
L1 192.5mm
L2 400mm
L3 168.5mm
L4 400mm
L5 136.3mm
L6 133.75mm

Range of Motion - Roll Joints

The range of motion of each roll joint is presented below. The overall joint range is specified.

Sawyer Even Numbered Joints.png

Roll Joints
Joint Name Range (Degrees)
J0 350
J2 350
J4 350
J6 540

Range of Motion - Pitch Joints

The range of motion of each pitch joint is presented below. The overall joint range is specified.

Sawyer Odd Numbered Joints.PNG

Pitch Joints
Joint Name Range (Degrees)
J1 350
J3 350
J5 350

Control Box

General Dimensions

  Note: All dimensions are in millimeters.  

Sawyer Control Box General Dimensions.PNG

Ports and Devices

Side View

Sawyer Control Box Ports Side View.PNG

Bottom View

Sawyer Control Box Ports Bottom View.PNG

  • Inputs:
    • Power
    • Air
  • Outputs
    • Air (4x)
    • Power and Data
    • Video

Inside View

Sawyer Control Box Inside View.PNG

  • Terminal Unit (8 Digital Inputs, 8 Digital Outputs)
  • Safety Rated Controller
  • Solenoid Valve (2x)
  • Ethernet Port (For Rethink Use Only - Not accessible)
  • USB Port (2x)


General Dimensions

  Note: All dimensions are in centimeters.  

Sawyer Pedestal Basic Dimensions.PNG


Sawyer Pedestal Overview.PNG