Sawyer is equipped with high-resolution force sensors embedded at each joint, along with a power and force-limited compliant arm with series elastic actuators. This allows for compliant motion control and enables Sawyer to "feel" its way into fixtures or machines, even when parts or positions vary. With this feature, Sawyer can work alongside humans without the risk of bodily injury in semi-structured environments.
For its vision system, Sawyer features a camera in its head to perform applications requiring a wide field of view, and a Cognex smart camera with a built-in light source in its wrist for precision vision applications. The embedded vision system enables the Robot Positioning System for dynamic re-orientation, and over time will support more advanced features that are inherent to the Cognex system, such as barcode scanning and object recognition, according to Rethink Robotics.
The robot weight only 42 lbs. and features an 8.8 lb. payload, with 7 degrees of freedom and a 1-meter reach that can maneuver into tight spaces and varied alignments of work cells designed for humans. Like Rethink Robotics’ previous robot, Baxter, the Sawyer force-limited robot runs on the Intera software system, so it is able to dynamically adapt to real-world conditions on the plant floor and integrate seamlessly into existing work cells.
"With Baxter, we introduced the concept of robots and people working together on the plant floor," said Rethink Robotics president and CEO Scott Eckert. "With Sawyer, we have taken that relationship to the next level, with a high performance robot that opens the door for many new applications that have never been good candidates for automation. As we continue to redefine this industry, we also continue to give manufacturers new ways of adding efficiency and flexibility into their operations."
Global electronic product solutions company Jabil has partnered with Rethink Robotics as an early adopter and field tester of Sawyer, and sees the robot’s potential in automation.
“Flexible automation that addresses shrinking product lifecycles and helps companies align with consumer trends is a critical technology initiative for manufacturers,” said John Dulchinos, vice president of digital manufacturing at Jabil. “Rethink Robotics continues to lead the way in defining how workers and machines can coexist to leverage the strengths of each, and optimize productivity for all.”
Sawyer will initially be available in North America, Europe, China, and Japan in the summer of 2015 for $29,000. In addition to Jabil, the robot is currently being tested by a number of other large manufacturing companies in those regions.
View more information on Sawyer.
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