Maxi in the matter of performance, control properties, and range of functions. Mini as far as price, size, and commissioning are concerned.

 As the third member, the ESCON 36/3 EC joins the one year ago launched series of maxon motor ESCON servo controllers. It captivates by user-friendliness and outstanding performance. Very well equipped, the miniaturized device demonstrates true greatness. Its special design allows the setup of cost-optimized drive systems solely using Hall sensor feedback (no encoder necessary) without waiving the comprehensive 4-quadrant operation capabilities. All of it in miniature dimensions and unrivaled power density. It is designed for efficient control of BLDC motors (brushless DC motors, so-called EC motors) with Hall sensors up to approximately 100 Watts. As part of the ESCON family, it represents the embodiment of unrivaled power density in the field of servo controller technology offering highest comfort, extensive functionality, and best protection.

The ESCON 36/3 EC has excellent control properties and a very fast digital current controller with an enormous bandwidth for optimal motor current/torque control. The drift-free yet extremely dynamic speed behavior enables a speed range of 0 to 150,000 rpm. The technological masterpiece provides a wide range of functions with fully configurable digital and analog inputs and outputs and can be run in various operating modes (speed controller (closed loop), speed controller (open loop), current controller). It is perfectly matched to maxon’s range of motors and thus allows dynamic drive solutions that meet the highest demands.

The compact servo controller is controlled by an analog set value specified via analog voltage, external or internal potentiometer, fixed value, or by means of PWM signal with variable duty cycle. Other interesting features are, for instance, the ability to enable or disable the power stage depending on the direction of rotation, or to use speed ramps for acceleration and deceleration. The speed can be regulated with Hall sensors.

Startup made easy

Top performance should not be a matter of practice makes perfect. Therefore the servo controller has been designed specifically with easy startup and user-friendliness in mind. Hence, no in-depth knowledge of drive technology is required.

When the servo controller is connected to a PC via a USB port, it can easily and efficiently be configured with the graphical user interface «ESCON Studio». A large variety of functions, user-friendly software wizards, and a well-designed automatic procedure to fine-tune the controller come in handy during startup and configuration of the inputs and outputs, for monitoring, data recording, and diagnostics.

As far as the hardware is concerned, the ESCON 36/3 EC comes fully equipped with everything that is needed. For example, no additional external filters or motor chokes are required.

Top-notch protection

The ESCON 36/3 EC features protective circuits against overcurrent, excess temperature, undervoltage and overvoltage, against voltage transients and short-circuits in the motor cable. Furthermore it is equipped with protected digital inputs and outputs and adjustable current limitation to protect motor and load. The motor current and the actual speed of the motor shaft can be monitored by means of the analog output voltage.

Flexibility and efficiency without compromise

The wide range for input voltage and operating temperature allows a flexible use in almost all drive applications, in automation technology, in machine manufacturing and equipment engineering, and in mechatronics. With its exceptional efficiency of 95%, the inexpensive ESCON 36/3 EC is a first-class choice for mobile, highly efficient yet consumption-optimized applications.

maxon motors now with Formula Renault 3.5

The Formula Renault 3.5 series, a very important feeder race championship for Formula 1. Many  F1 drivers have graduated from the Renault series.  Toro Rosso drivers Jean Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo,  and World Champion Sebastian Vettel to name a few.

Race car and engine manufacturer, Zytek Engineering has been selected for the supply of the engine for the Formula Renault 3.5 series for the next two years with the  Zytek engine which was designed in the UK. The Zytek engine is a 3.4 litre V8 producing 530 HP and 9250 rpm, an upgrade of 50 horsepower on previous years. Notably this year is a new fly-by-wire mechanism which uses DC servo motors from the Swiss manufacturer maxon, The DC motor and planetary gearhead combination has 3 position chart profiles selectable for changing track conditions. The new engine system and control has taken over 4s off lap times. The fly-by-wire servo system was specially adapted to meet the demands of the high vibration and high temperature environments.

Zytek’s Operations Director John Manchester:  ‘We began testing maxon’s products in July 2011 and have been extremely impressed with their technical backup and service. The motors need to work in a very hostile environment and maxon really understood the product and the problem and even made suggestions on how to improve the product to help us.‘

‘It was a great privilege for Zytek to be awarded the FR 3.5 contract and when you work with a major motor manufacturer such as Renault in such a high profile racing series you have to ensure that you can deliver. Working with maxon motor means we can exceed expectations.‘

Sales Engineer at maxon motor Paul Williams: ‘We are delighted to work in partnership with Zytek. 80% of our business comes from modifying our products for our customers and we thrive on challenging projects.‘

Underwater Vehicle Produces Live Video

The HydroView remotely operated vehicle uses brushed motors for navigating, while Droids and iPADs are used as the controllers that allow the robot to view sea life while recording video.

Inspired by the sleek design and smooth movements of marine life, the engineers at Aquabotix Technology Corporation challenged themselves with designing an easy to use, affordable, and fun remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The company’s Sport Model HydroView produces live video, captures photos, and streams them to an iPAD or Android to share with others through social media sites.

Aquabotix’s goal is to bring accessible consumer electronics products smoothly and easily into the complex world of underwater video. To do this, the device had to be easily controlled, simple to understand, operate from familiar devices, and be affordable. After taking all these characteristics into consideration, Aquabotix engineers took on the challenge and came up with the HydroView.

The HydroView weighs less than ten pounds, and comes with a waterproof carrying case and seventy-five foot cable, with longer cables as options. The unit’s topside box produces localized Wi-Fi technology so that users don’t have to search for a signal while floating on the water. The HydroView communicates wirelessly from the user’s handheld device to the HydroView’s topside box, which in-turn connects to the submersible vehicle via a cable tether. The HydroView is equipped with LED lights and an HD camera for direct human to machine interface. Intuitive, user-friendly screen displays of the applications, helps to make control of the HydroView easy for the user. Operations are designed to imitate video game screens to provide a familiar feel to functionality.

The HydroView motion under water is highly dependent on its motion system. The ability to accurately control movement is required in order to facilitate the user in getting the information they’re looking for, whether that is to inspect an anchor, view the hull, check propellers, or assess the rudder. A major benefit to the HydroView is that the unit has entertainment as well as practical value. Users can study sea life, search for lost objects, or explore shorelines for fun. Commercial uses might include checking live bait cages, inspecting support systems, or checking strap placement on boat removal.

The HydroView motion under water is highly dependent on its motion system. The ability to accurately control movement is required in order to facilitate the user in getting the information they’re looking for, whether that is to inspect an anchor, view the hull, check propellers, or assess the rudder. A major benefit to the HydroView is that the unit has entertainment as well as practical value. Users can study sea life, search for lost objects, or explore shorelines for fun. Commercial uses might include checking live bait cages, inspecting support systems, or checking strap placement on boat removal.

The motion system consists of three propellers, one on either side and one rear-oriented, each run by a separate brushed DC motor manufactured and designed by maxon motor. The design team used maxon’s A-max motors for their high torque values in a small package. The 26mm motors needed to be lightweight and efficient, since the HydroView is battery operated. The unit operates up to three hours on a full charge. Motor torque is more important than motor speed when designing for underwater use, because water, rather than air, has to pass through the propellers.

But there was a more important specification needed for the HydroView than torque, and that was smooth, low vibration operation. Since the system had to be sealed in order to work under water, any vibration in the motor shaft would cause the system to develop leaks, compromising the motors, the control board, and the camera. Because Auquabotix needed a longer shaft put on the A-max than the one it came with, there was even more concern about motor vibration which would amplify as it moved along the longer shaft distance.

The side motors are speed controlled to let the vehicle maneuver. Right and left movements are controlled through coordinated adjustments. The third A-max motor in the tail of the HydroView provides pitch control of the vehicle. Forward motion maxes out at about 5 Knots, and depth of the unit is rated to 150 feet. The side propellers are set at two different pitches, so the motors run in opposite directions, which help to stabilize the vehicle in the water.

The unit has full Linux functionality on-board and can be programmed in a variety of languages, including C or C++, while the iPAD version uses the COCOA environment. The Android and PC versions can be programmed using Java, as well. Since the operation of the vehicle acts similar to that of working with a video game,

almost anyone can begin using it fairly quickly. Movement is translated through the user’s chosen control panel using gestures or accelerometers, another point that makes operation simple.

The HydroView is 14.6-inches wide, 19-inches long, and seven-inches high. It’s available in safety orange and black. Options include cables up to 300 feet long, hovering control software, extended battery operation, and deluxe pontoon lights. Other versions of the HydroView will be introduced in the coming months.


Brushless flat DC motor with MILE Encoder EC 60

The new Brushless DC motor, EC60 flat is ideal in a wide range of applications because of the multitude of possible combinations available. Whether the focus is on high nominal torque, on high-dynamic positioning tasks with superb repetition accuracy, 12V, 24V and 48V DC or on robustness and insensitivity against environmental conditions, the choice is all up to the end user.

Versatility, high power, and robustness for flat motors has a name: EC 60 Flat

  • Versatility: Various DC motor windings for battery-powered and industrial applications, direct or belt drives, torque and repetition accuracy.
  • Power: Nominal high motor torque up to 319 mNm, almost non-existent detent of 7 to 12 mNm.
  • Robustness: motor shaft radial load 100 N, protection class IP 54 (spray water), grounding connection directly at the flange, cable strain relief, environmental conditions of -40 to +100°C.
  • The MILE incremental encoder is used to make optimal use of the flat motor in high-precision speed applications and positioning tasks. Behind the abbreviation MILE hides Maxon’s Inductive Little Encoder, the worldwide smallest inductive rotary encoder. Its operating principle is based on the detection of high-frequency inductivity which generates eddy current in an electrically conducting target.

The advantages of a high-frequency inductive method of measurement compared to traditional encoders are:

  • High encoder robustness towards dust or oil vapour, thus making additional protective measures, such as a cover, unnecessary.
  • High encoder speed capabilities.
  • Insensitivity against encoder pulse interference (for example from PWM controllers or motor magnets).
  • The Brushless flat EC 60 motor’s extraordinary characteristics come into full effect in battery-powered, low voltage DC and mobile applications, as well as in the industrial field; for example in variable flow valve drives, in dialysis systems, or in direct drive centrifuges with extended motor service life and large radial loads.

The Brushless EC 60 flat’s various possible combinations permit the use in a wide range of automation applications. For example, the focus can be laid on torque, robustness, or repeating accuracy making the following key data possible:

  • High continuous motor torque: as direct drive up to 319 mNm, as IP 54 version up to 257 mNm.
  • Very low motor detent of <12 mNm.
  • High motor shaft radial load of 100 N.
  • IP 54 motor (spray water).
  • High position repeating accuracy due to resolutions up to 2048 impulses per turn.
  • Encoder suitable for special environmental conditions (dust, oil, magnetic fields).

The new brushless DC 60mm flat motor and MILE encoder is particularly ideal for use in applications demanding high torque and positioning tasks, as well as for high-precision variable speed drive setups.

Your technical guide to CAN

Want expert advice on compact CAN?

To help engineers considering the use of CAN in smaller applications, maxon has produced a handy technical guide – is available to download here absolutely free.

CANopen is increasingly popular as a compact, inexpensive and flexible solution.

Written by maxon’s mechatronics expert Dr Marcel Honegger, the downloadable booklet gives an overview of the main modes and approaches – including examples, diagrams and transmission times.

If you have particular requirements that you need to meet, simply email our engineers and we will work with you to deliver technology to your exact specifications.

The new DC gearmotor innovation from maxon motor the GP 26 A planetary gearhead

maxon motor, the worldwide leading provider of high-precision drives and systems, presents a new, more powerful series of planetary gearheads for DC motors, called GP 26 A. The GP 26 A closes the gap which previously existed between the 22 and 32 diameters in the range of power-optimised gearheads. The GP 26 A offers all of the advantages of the maxon motor gearheads, including modularity, precision and power. Particularly significant improvements over the previous generation are the higher permissible loads.

The gearheads are developed and manufactured by maxon motor. The following features in particular are responsible for the power increase: the integration of a robust, preloaded ball bearing, optimized gearhead geometry, the high permissible motor speed, and the optimized dimensions of the output shaft. This gearhead is part of the modular system and is available as one-stage to three-stage versions, with a total of 9 different reduction ratios, from 5.2:1 up to 236:1. The maximum continuous torque of the one-stage version is 0.75 Nm and of the three-stage version is 4.5 Nm. The short-term torques are 1.1 Nm and 6.2 Nm respectively. Thanks to preloaded ball bearings, the tempered, rust-free output shaft has no axial play.

Within the renowned maxon motor modular system, the new GP 26 A gearhead can be combined with five different DC motor types. Combining these gearheads with dynamic maxon motors as well as sensor systems (encoders) results in powerful drive units. For the control functions, various 1- and 4-quadrant controllers as well as positioning controllers are available.

Applications fields include engineered robotics devices to battery-operated tools, from medical technology to industrial automation.

Contact maxon motor Australia for details 02 9476 4777


Brushless 22mm Heavy Duty and High Temp – maxon motor sets new benchmark

motors running in oil at 200°C! / 100 G! / -5’000m! / 1’700 bar!

DC motor drive systems made by maxon do their job under the most difficult conditions, such as, for example, on Mars. But not only in high altitudes or in outer space, maxon DC motors also operate in harsh ambient conditions as encountered deep underneath the earth’s surface – immaculate, dependable, efficient motors.

As the first manufacturer worldwide, maxon motor launches with its EC 22 HD (Heavy Duty) a standard motor for extremely harsh operating conditions. Developed for the exceptionally high requirements in deep drilling technology, the electronically commutated motor EC 22 HD resists even most extreme conditions in which “normal” drives call it quits.

Deep drilling (in the oil and gas exploration industry called “Downhole Drilling”) permits exploration of oil and gas resources from depths beyond 2’500 meters (8’200 feet). In conjunction with directional drilling (the dynamic orientation of a borehole), it allows exploration of, so far, inaccessible deposits in drilling depths of currently about 5’000 meters (16’500 feet) and bore lengths of up to 11’000 meters (36’000 feet). Today, electronics and the respective drives permit more sophisticated monitoring and control in a multitude of functions within the drilling process. For instance, the drilling head’s position and orientation can be dynamically measured and adjusted. Or; in various deep drilling tools, hydraulic valves and flaps are being operated by electromechanic drives. Temperature and pressure conditions present in this depth range, in conjunction with high vibration emitted by the drilling process, make the employment of electric drive motors a real challenge.

The different variants of the brushless EC 22 Heavy Duty motor are designed for operation in air or submerged in oil (flooded in hydraulic fluid. Their assigned power rating depends on the surrounding medium and averages to 80 Watts in air and, due to remarkably higher heat dissipation, 240 Watts in oil. They are designed to cope with ambient temperatures of more than 200°C (390°F) and atmospheric pressures of up to 1’700 bar (25’000 psi). Further requirements of the 22 mm diameter motors are the capability to withstand vibration of up to 25 grms as well as impulse and impact of up to 100 G, that is 100 times gravitational acceleration – as a parallel; a Formula 1 race car encounters about 2 G, a fighter jet about 13 G. The motors feature high efficiency (in air up to 88%, in oil more than 70%) and therefore offer the best prerequisites for battery-operated applications. With their detent-free running characteristics, they possess outstanding regulation behaviour and are especially suitable for high-precision positioning tasks, even at low speed.

The motor unveils new possibilities in a number of applications that call for equally high requirements. It is well-prepared for the utilization in space technology or in power plants as well as in vehicle manufacturing, in the aircraft industry, in mining or in highly dynamic movements.

Android blinks thanks to maxon drive technology

Imagine you enter room and see a twin in front of you. It is not made of flesh and blood, but the humanoid robot already bears an uncanny resemblance to its human counterpart. In China, this scenario is no longer science fiction, it is reality. The lifelike artworks can blink, nod and move their arms and legs – thanks to drives made by maxon motor. A perfect interplay of technology and art.

The Chinese company Xi’an Chaoren Robots has mastered the art of combining a human appearance with the technical features of a robot, with fascinating attention to detail. The true-to-life exterior of the robot is modelled after humans. Even the hair on its head and its eyebrows are made of human hair and is painstakingly applied by hand. The elastic exterior of the android is made of silicone and feels almost like human skin. “with the lifelike appearance of the robot, we want to convey a human touch instead of portraying a cold machine as is the case with most other humanoid robots,” says Zou Ziting, General manager of Xi’an Chaoren Robots.

And it really is almost uncanny when the robotic twin of Zou Ren Ti hardly differs from its real-life human counterpart. This robot is part of the first generation of lifelike robots. Seven years ago, the company based in Xi’an, the capital of the Shaanxi province in China, started to develop humanoid robots. The company has been marketing them since 2006. In the same year, Xi’an Chaoren Robots won the “Robot of the year” award from Time Magazine. Today many of the company’s androids are used at a wide range of events. For example, they can explain and present products to visitors of trade fairs and exhibitions. Today many museums, including the National Museum of China, are among the customers of the robot manufacturer. And even the Chinese TV station CCTV (China Central Television) has already ordered a robot double for TV presenter Li Yong. In the near future, the robots are to be equipped for tasks at home – for example as a nanny, service robot or as nurses.

Each Robot is unique

However, first the robot has to learn to walk because currently its movements are still limited to basic functions. It can, for example, move its head in all directions. With its eyes, it can blink and look in different directions. Movements of the arms, wrists, legs and feet are also possible – for example, the robot is capable if waving to the public or tapping its foot. It does not lack verbal skills. Its mouth can move and talk by means of a remote control. Around six months is needed to complete a robot. Each robot is unique and has its own movement characteristics.

Blinking and waving thanks to maxon motors

Small powerful motors are important criteria for the life span of the robots. Zou Ziting explains that Xi’an Chaoren Robotos chose motors manufactured by maxon as drive technology, as they are small yet highly efficient. In total 16 brushless motors from maxon are used for the third generation of robots made by Xi’an Chaoren Robots. For example, the twin of the Chinese TV presenter Li Yong is equipped exclusively with motors by maxon.

The precision motors have a diameter of 16 to 40 mm. One of the motors used is the EC-i40 flat motor combined with the GP32C Planetary gearhead. This drive combination is responsible for the movement of the robot arms. For the planetary gearhead, the company chose the version with ceramic axes, as much higher torques can be achieved than is the case with steel axes and the wear-resistance of the ceramic axes are much higher than that of the steel axes. Like the android called Hubo, manufactured by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the humanoid robots from China are equipped with the energy-efficient, dynamic maxon EC-4pole drive. Thanks to a rotor with two pole pairs, this drive can achieve a very high power density. With the powerful 120 W of the EC-4pole 22, the robot can take a bow on command. Motors manufactured by maxon also control the movements of the eyes, eyelids and mouth.

In the near future, the “human” robots will get even more intelligent with the aid of maxon’s motors. In addition to human facial expressions, the robots will soon take their first steps and react to spoken commands.

maxon brushless flat pancake gear motors with integrated electronics

Brushless DC motors, servo motors and gearmotors with in-built speed control units.

maxon motor is launching a range of small brushless DC motors with integrated motor control electronics. The range of servo motors features established motor drives EC 20 flat, EC 32 flat and EC 45 flat, but now they have in-built speed controllers, yet are almost the same size. The brushless DC motors available as standard are the 2 and 5-wire versions, with an operating range of 2 – 50 watts. The motor drives are suitable for use where there is minimal installation space, when long service life and constant speed are required at the same time as simple motor and gearmotor (gearbox) control operations.

As well as cylindrical servo motor drives, maxon motor has been developing and distributing brushless flat DC pancake motors for many years; these are known as external rotor motors where the rotating rotor shell encloses the fixed motor stator. Advantages of this design include its short overall motor length, high torque density and its simplicity – and thanks to electronic current commutation, the brushless DC motors and gearmotors have an almost unlimited service life.

The new EC 20 flat motor, EC 32 flat motor and EC 45 flat motor with integrated electronics also reduce the user’s need for motor control input to the absolute minimum. Current commutation is integrated in the motor through Hall sensors, a 1-quadrant motor speed controller and numerous motor protection functions. Motors are available as 2 and 5-wire versions. In the 2-wire version, speed acts proportionately to the applied operating motor voltage of 10 – 28 volts. In the simplest case, the motor drive is powered directly by the battery. The 5-wire version offers additional functionality and a wider operating range with set value input, enable and speed monitor. Motor current limitation, under and over-voltage switch-off plus temperature monitoring are implemented as standard in all motor models.

New servomotor models are also being added to the existing range of flat pancake motors, such as the EC 20 flat, which is available immediately in a 5 watt version, with or without Hall sensors, as required. The EC 90 flat DC motor is now available with integrated motor encoder. Thanks to the two-channel motor encoder with 2,048 pulses per revolution, this servomotor drive is ideal for challenging positioning tasks and servo motor control applications. A protective motor cover shields the unit against contamination which means that it can be used in rough automation environments. maxon motor’s flexible modular system has also been expanded, so that all brushless flat motors can now be combined with spur and planetary gearheads (gearboxes) allowing for motor gear encoder packages.

More information and operating instructions for the motors with integrated electronics can be downloaded from maxon’s website at


RE 50 and RE 65 industrial version DC servo motors.

Powerful maxon drives for tough conditions.

In response to a growing market requirement for drives with IP54 protection rating, maxon motor is expanding its existing range of RE 40 and EC 45 industrial versions by adding the RE 50 and RE 65. maxon motor is also launching new AB 44 mounted brakes.

The two powerful and mechanically commutated DC motors, with output powers of 200 and 250 watts respectively, are available immediately as industrial versions. A number of steps have been taken to protect the drives against dirt and splash water. The motor is therefore protected on the commutation side with a sealed aluminum housing. The cable outputs are sealed with PG cable fittings, and the shaft is secured with a radial shaft seal to guarantee IP54 rating on the flange side as well.

Like all maxon products, the RE 50 and RE 65 industrial versions can be combined in the modular system with gears, encoders and brakes. The AB 44 permanent magnet brakes are a new feature, notable mainly for their extremely wide temperature range – from -40 to +100°C – and high 2.5 Nm torque. The brake disk is also secured onto the motor shaft which is a major advantage for positioning tasks.

These two industrial versions, with diameters of 50 and 65 mm, are available as standard with various winding options. They achieve nominal torque of up to 0.9 Nm, nominal speeds of up to 5,500 rpm and an efficiency level of over 90%. All industrial versions are delivered with 1.5 m long screened cables. As a result, the cable shielding, mounting cap and brush cover are all electro-conductively connected to each other.

Low nominal voltage, high power density, a flexible combination range and IP54 protection rating make both power packages the ideal choice for use in industrial equipment, such as automatic dispensing machines, handling and packaging machinery, as well as in battery-operated applications such as electric vehicles, transport and logistics facilities.

Further information on the new RE 50 and RE 65 industrial versions as well as maxon’s complete range is available on the Internet at