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Back.png Using Intera

Intera Pic.png


The Foundations section is the starting point for learning and building tasks using Intera software. Understanding the features covered in this section will help with developing a robust and repeatable task.

Intera Overview

Intera is the manufacturing software platform that is used to control and train robots to perform tasks. Intera is an evolving software platform and a robot can be easily upgraded to the latest version by simply inserting a USB with the latest software. For the latest software version, please contact Rethink Support at

Main Screen

When the robot finishes booting up, the main screen will be the first screen to appear on the U/I. The main screen has two elements: the menu bar and eye expressions.

The icons on the left side of the menu indicate what task is currently loaded on the robot, and give the user the option of running, resetting, or modifying the current task. The current task names in this images above are “Task 9” and "1st Task".

  • Options for Selected Tasks
  • Run – Choosing this option will start the task from where it left off when the task was stopped.
  • Reset – Choosing this option will start the task and reset all the counts and signals.
  • Modify – Choosing this option will allow a user to enter into the Task Map to make modifications to the current task.

The icons on the right side of the menu are attributes of the robot that do not pertain to the currently loaded task

  • New – selecting New will create a new task and generate a black Task Map. The Task Map is a top down view of the robot's workspace and is the area of the U/I where a user will train a task.
  • Tasks – opens the Task Gallery, a visual list of all saved tasks. Multiple Tasks can be created within the Intera software and when a task is created it is saved to the Task Gallery. Selecting the "Tasks" button on the Main Screen of the Intera software will bring up a list of all saved Tasks.
  • Settings – robot administration and advanced options.
  • Sleep – robot power: Sleep, Restart, Shutdown, Lock.



A Task is an operation or application set up within the Intera software that contains one or many subtasks on one or both arms. A Task includes everything a robot is trained to perform for a specific application or job.


A Sub-task is made up of a single Action or series of Actions that are grouped together in order to be coordinated together within a Task.

  • Sub-tasks are defined to end when all Actions within the sub-task have completed and either:
  • all of the Place counts for all Actions in all Action Sequences in the Sub-task are full or,
  • the Skip signal is true.
  • Errors (e.g., pick or place failures) will not cause a Sub-task to end and will not cause the count to be incremented. Therefore, if errors prevent Actions from running and Place counts cannot be satisfied, the Sub-task may never end.

If a subtask contains more than one pair of pick and place the execution will not necessarily occur in order. Holds are executed in order, but if there are multiple picks or places, the robot will chose whichever is available to run.

Subtasks will not necessarily be executed in order if signaling causes branching. See Signals


Actions refer to locations in the robot workspace that the user defines as a pick, place or hold. Actions are used to define where the arms should move and what should be performed at that location.


Counts are the number of times the robot should complete a specific function(s). Counts can be modified and applied to Actions, Sub-Tasks, and the overall Task.

Counts can be thought of as loops, which nest inside one another. The Count applied to the overall Task contains the Sub-Task counts, which contains the Action counts.

Arm Management

Elbow Management

Elbow Management is an important concept to understand when operating Baxter or Sawyer. Proper Elbow Management will ensure that the arm is able to move to the desired action points with ease and provide flexibility around the locations in case the points need to be modified or moved to optimize the task. The left image below provides a visual reference of which joint on Baxter's arm is considered the "Elbow". The right image below provides a visual of the Sawyer robot with the joint and link names called out.

Collision Avoidance

The basic definition of Collision Avoidance as it relates to a Rethink Robotic's robot is the ability of the robot to know when it will collide with part of itself (i.e. opposing arm, torso, head, etc.) and back drive the arm away to avoid the collision.

Shutting Down

Next Step

Basic Concepts