Newton Gripper stopped working, motor still runs but nothing happens

My gripper stopped working on the first test… As i started it open and closed fine above water and on the first test, but after a while it was stuck an would’t really do anything. Then i took it up wiggled a bit with the claw and then i worked again for a couple of times, but then it stopped working completely. So now i can only hear the gripper motor run but nothing happends?
See demo of the problem here

Okay, so after taking it a bit apart i can see that the trapezoid thread piece not longer is attatched to the motor due to the set screw has losend itself. See picture for reference:

Now the only complication is that i cant get the bottom piece loose so i can fasten the threaded piece agian. So any advice on that? @patrickelectric

Hi Robert,

I’m sorry you’ve had trouble with the gripper! It does look like that set screw came loose. We have an updated shaft coupling that prevents that from happening. If you don’t mind, can you please email and we’ll get this resolved right away?


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An email is hereby sent, thanks!

I also managed to break mine today, but it was the plastic piece attached to the lead screw. I have been doing a lot of digging with it while trying to recover objects, which I’m sure its not designed to do. While diagnosing the issue underwater, the jaws wouldn’t open or close. Back on the surface, the motor would turn freely and the jaws were able to be easily opened or closed by hand, it was obvious that they were no longer attached to the motor inside.
I will email support to buy a replacement part if I can field service it myself. Otherwise I will send it in for a refurb and maybe buy a spare gripper.
Mike @ Alaska Submarine

Thanks for bringing this to our attention guys. Please do contact for a replacement part. We have revised this part so it won’t break any more.

If the part has been revised to prevent breakage, then what is your policy on the grippers out there with the original part? I’m not keen on waiting for it to break on a job which could cost me a client or job.

Hi @kaosrulz,

In general our policy to to replace as necessary. Please contact us at if you are concerned.


I also had this problem. resolved It bye file a small groove in the shaft. That the set screw could screw down into. It was promised that the plastic part should be replaced or possibly upgraded. have not received anything yet.

@Turoey We had a support e-mail going from July 25, can you please reply to that with your most current shipping address and we will send you the replacement parts.

UPDATE: We received replacement parts in less than a week to Alaska, installed them and fixed the issue. They appear more skookum than the original. Thanks!


How long do you guys keep replacing this bad part if this happends? Can I just use my gripper and expect you to replace if it breaks even after 1 or 2 or 3 years? Just curious since I might have one of the first devices with this issue :slight_smile:

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@thorleif It is a case by case basis. Not all of the early grippers (like yours) have broke. As long as the set screw in the lead nut is tight, your gripper should work fine and won’t break.

It is hard to say what our designs may look like in 2-3 years, we may have an entirely new gripper design by then. When we update designs, I try to keep a few spare components on hand in storage for instances such as this, but sometimes we are just flat out.

For instance, we have a box full of R1 Lumen lenses (no other R1 parts) if anyone wants them :slightly_smiling_face: