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  Note:This page contains information that pertains to both Baxter and Sawyer robots.

The purpose of this section is to provide tools and resources for users who need to troubleshoot hardware, software, and training issues with a Rethink Robotics Robot.

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We recommend starting by searching on this wiki using the search bar at the top right of the page when troubleshooting an issue you are having with your robot. In many cases, other users have come across similar issues and we strive to answer those previous questions on the wiki. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

You can also browse the debugging strategies section below for information concerning the problem.

In a majority of cases, an issue will fall within one of the following three categories.

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Training

Additional information for each of the categories can be found within the sections below.

Start Here! - The Basic System Checks

Often times, an issue that a user is having may have a very simple resolution.

  • Does the robot have power? - Make sure that the robot's power cord is securely plugged in.
  • Is the E-stop plugged in securely and disengaged? - The E-stop on the Baxter robot should be plugged into the DB15 port on the back of the robot and screwed in securely. The E-Stop on the Sawyer robot is hardwired into the Control Box. Make sure that the E-stop is disengaged, otherwise the robot will not provide power to the arm motors.
  • Have the arms been calibrated successfully? - See Calibration for details on successfully calibrating the arms.
  • What version of software is the robot currently running? - Click Software Releases to see our released versions. Check the "About Baxter" or "About Sawyer" under Settings on the U/I to verify the version the robot is currently running.
  • Check the status of the Halo Light(s), U/I, and sonar*. (*Baxter Only)
    • After the robot fully boots, the Halo Light should appear green and blinking and the U/I should show the robot's eyes and top level menu. On Baxter, the Sonar should be registering objects in the work area.
  • Is "Press OK" or an error message displayed on the screen? - If it continually says "Press OK," press the cuff Zero G, additional error information may display on the screen.

Understanding the Problem

The first step in resolving your problem is determining what type of problem it could be. As previously mentioned, the majority of issues can be groups into one of the below categories. In each category we will try to help you determine what group your specific issue falls within and provide you with tools to help resolve.


The first step is determining if you are facing a Hardware problem. Many hardware issues are fairly apparent that something physical is broken - if there's a crack in a screen or a ripped cable, there's little mystery left. Other issues may be internal or electrical and need a bit of investigation to discover.

Possible symptoms of a hardware failure:

  • The robot will not bootup fully.
    • If the robot will not fully boot, you may need access the Field Service Menu (FSM). Accessing the FSM will allow you to perform troubleshooting procedures such as exporting log files and running component tests. For more detailed information, see the FSM page.
  • Arms are disabling and falling slowing.
    • Make sure the E-Stop is not engaged.
    • Attempt to re-calibrate the arms. See the Calibration page.
  • Electric gripper is stuck in an "open" or "closed" position.
    • Disconnect the gripper from the robot and visually inspect the part for any physical damage that could cause a failure in operation.
    • Check the gripper firmware version from the FSM.
    • Update the gripper firmware if needed.
  • Joint error appears on the U/I
    • Run the different JCB hardware tests from the FSM.

Available tools to help you troubleshoot:

  • Field Service Menu (FSM) - Low level hardware tests that can be run on the robot.
  • Export Logs - Rethink Robotics Support will require the log files from a customer with a potential hardware failure.

If you face a Hardware problem, you can always contact the Rethink Robotics Support team at and start working with them to further diagnose the issue, and possibly schedule a service call.

Software Issues

If the problem does not appear to be related to a physical component of the robot, the next step is to check for issues with the Software.

Possible symptoms of a software failure:

  • The robot will not boot up fully
    • If the robot will not fully boot, you may need access the Field Service Menu (FSM). Accessing the FSM will allow you to perform troubleshooting procedures such as exporting log files and running component tests. For more detailed information, see the FSM page.
  • The robot is shutting down
    • Exporting the log files form the FSM may be required in order to determine the root of the issue.
  • Calibration Failure

Training Issues

Possible symptoms of Training issues:

  • The robot is not moving in the manner in which I trained.
  • The robot is not getting the signal that I have configured on the task.
    • Try browsing the Signals page for more information.

Available tools to help you troubleshoot:

Still Stuck? See Also: