Software Update

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Use the software update tool to update robot side SDK software when patches or updates are available.

Latest Version - v1.2.0

Follow the Software Update - v1.2.0 instructions to update to the latest version.


When software updates are available for the Baxter robot, Rethink Robotics software support will notify the Point-Of-Contact (POC) for your Organization's Team and announce the release on the Baxter Research Community Forum. You may then update your robot software and workstation at your convenience.

Update files must be put on a FAT32 USB stick and inserted into your robot before running the following steps. Please contact support to get the software update files.


There are three parts to updating your software to a new release version:

  1. Download robot Update Files to a USB from the Rethink FTP (usually done by Team's POC).
  2. Run the update with the Update Robot Tool.
  3. Update your SDK workspace on your workstation.

Follow the appropriate instructions for the version you are updating to. Updates can go up (or down) by one release version at a time (i.e. if you are more than one version behind, update to the intermediate version(s) first, on your way to the latest).

Instructions for Updating the Robot Software

Instructions for Updating the Workstation SDK Software

After running the Robot Update, update the Baxter SDK installed on your computer with the following instructions:


Part 1: Download the Software

Part 2: Update the Robot

Tool Usage

The rethink-updater is the on-robot tool used during the Robot Update process. For complete instructions on updating your robot, please refer to the [[#Documentation|]] Section for your specific version.

Tool Usage:

After SSH'ing into the robot, you can view the tool help:

ruser ~ $ rethink-updater --help
  --list                List updaters
  --update <version>    Update to <version>
  --help                This help message [ARGUMENTS]

  • --list: Used to list the updates that are available to the system.
  • --update [VersionNumber]: Kick off the updater to update to the specified version.

Generic Steps Overview

  1. Allow robot to fully boot.
  2. In the USB port on Baxter's torso, plug in a FAT32 formatted drive with the update files in the root of the drive (i.e. not a sub directory).
  3. Wait ~30 seconds for the system to recognize the drive.
  4. SSH into the your robot
    $ ssh ruser@<your_baxters_hostname>
  5. Use
    ruser ~ $ rethink-updater --list
    to get the update VersionNumber
  6. Use
    ruser ~ $ rethink-updater --update [VersionNumber]
    to start the update.

This starts the verification and unpacking of the update payload. Status will be printed out as it goes through the required steps.

The last step informs the user that the system will now reboot to finish updating. The screen will show a bunch of text while this is happening. Once finished, it reboots to the new software and finalizes the update.


For common issues specific to using software update with Baxter, check out the Troubleshooting page.