Software Update - v0.7.0

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Update Instructions for Baxter Research Robot: rsdk_0.7.0

This document provides instructions on updating the software on your Baxter Research Robot to 'rsdk_0.7.0'.

A list of release changes can be found here

Note: These instructions are for updating from 0.6.2. If updating from version 0.6.1, you should follow the instructions at: Software Update - v0.6.2.


You will need:

  • A Baxter Research Robot running 0.6.2
  • USB drive (FAT32 formatted, at least 500MB)
  • Update Files from the Rethink FTP
  • Development Workstation with the RSDK installed


I. Download Update Files

  1. Download the Update files from the Rethink FTP Service - Rethink_FTP.
    Your organization's Point-Of-Contact (POC) will receive an email notice, granting access to the new Update folder, and allowing them to create credentials upon first login. More Info
    Note: If you do not have access to the Rethink FTP, simply send a request to the email with your contact information, and we will gladly provide access.
    From the 'Baxter Research Robot 0.7.0 Software' folder:
    Download the compressed gzip file: rethink-update-rsdk_0.7.0.tar.gz
  2. Unzip the Update Files
        $ mkdir updates
        $ tar xvfz rethink-update-rsdk_0.7.0.tar.gz -C updates/
        $ cd updates
  3. Copy all the update files onto a USB flash drive
    • You may use a normal File Browser or any other method to copy the files onto a USB drive.
    • Make sure the USB flash drive is formatted as a FAT32 partition.
    • The files should all be placed in the top-level directory of the USB drive (i.e. not in a sub-folder).
        #on the USB drive
        $ ls 
    • Safely eject the flash drive.

II. Setup and Check Version

1. Turn on Baxter. 2. Start an RSDK Shell on your development workstation.

   Make sure you have edited the script file for your ROS_IP or ROS_HOSTNAME.
    $ cd ~/ros_ws
    $ ./

3. Check the Software Version

   You can check the Software Version of your robot using the following command:
    $ rosparam get /rethink/software_version

III. Run the Updater for Version 0.7.0

  1. Allow robot to fully boot.
  2. Plug the USB drive into the USB port on Baxter's torso.
  3. Wait ~30 seconds for the system to recognize and verify the drive.
  4. (On Dev Workstation) Find the UUID for the Update Primer (Version 0.7.0) using the Software Update Tool:
    • Use the -l argument to the tool to list the available updates Baxter found on the USB drive.
          $ rosrun baxter_tools -l
          Version                       UUID
          0.7.0                         e3790020-35db-11e3-bae4-e0cb4e8bae9f
    • Find the UUID for the Version '0.7.0' update. In this example, the UUID is e3790020-35db-11e3-bae4-e0cb4e8bae9f.
  5. Start the Update, using the 0.7.0 Version.
    • Run the tool again, this time using the -u argument followed by the UUID found in the last step for Version 0.7.0.
          $ rosrun baxter_tools -u e3790020-35db-11e3-bae4-e0cb4e8bae9f
      This starts the verification and unpacking of the update payload. The status will be printed out as it goes through the required steps, ending in a notification that the robot system will reboot to finish updating.
    • NOTE: During this step, a bunch of text will scroll through on Baxter's screen. This is a good thing and shows that the update is progressing. Once finished, Baxter reboots to the new software and finalizes the update.
  6. Confirm the New Software Version
        $ rosparam get /rethink/software_version
    You should see 0.7.0 reported back. Congratulations, you have updated your Baxter!
Problems after Reboot

Rebooting after an update can take a few minutes while the controller boards are flashed with new firmware. If you have any problems after reboot - such as the 'Halo' light on Baxter's head flashing Red, or the robot not fully booting with the Green light, even after a significant wait (~10 minutes) - you should try a hard power-cycle:

  • Hit the Power Button on Baxter's side to perform a full power-off shutdown of Baxter.
  • Once all the lights and fans are off and Baxter is completely shutdown, hit the Power Button again to turn Baxter back on.

IV. Updating the SDK on the Workstation (git repo)

Along with updating the software on the robot to version rsdk_0.7.0, you will want to update your Workstation-side SDK software from the git repository to the corresponding v0.7.0. To do this, follow the instructions for checking out a new tagged version, with tag v0.7.0: Installing the Research SDK

FTP Access

Use the login credentials provided to your organization's Point-Of-Contact (POC). Updates to the Robot Software are distributed via the Rethink FTP Service - Hosted~FTP~. Your organization's Point-Of-Contact (POC) will receive an email, notifying them of the new update folder, and allowing them to sign-in using their email address. Note: When a new release occurs, POC's will be granted access to the Hosted~FTP~ via their email address. Credentials are created upon first sign-in.


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