A lot goes into maxon motors and they go into a lot of things.


First earth, then outer space and now underwater. The new Aquatic division at maxon motor develop DC motor actuators, thrusters and systems for subsea use.

Focused on applications that require reliability and efficiency the new maxon subsea motors use BLDC (brushless DC motors) in pressure compensated oil filled housings. ROV and AUV applications will benefit from maxon motors’ lighter and more powerful new solutions including four new thruster sizes. The MT20, MT30, MT40 and MT70 can be used at depths to 6000 meters with their corresponding maxon pressure compensators. The maxon thrusters for AUV and ROV applications also have the ability to have the propeller geometry optimised for special requirements, or to use the standard propeller geometry that is most efficient in one direction and has approximately 80% in reverse thrust. External componentry of the thrusters are made from titanium or plastic for use in salt water and all parts have been isolated to prevent galvanic reactions.

A dedicated subsea area with data sheets, application solutions and stories from the field can be found by searching for aquaticsolutions.maxonmotor.com or contact maxon motor Australia on +61 2 9457 7477.





Exploring hidden depths under the seabed.

Exploring Hidden Depths tripod on seabed

Norwegian company Petro-Marker, developed a device that is able to collect data up to 5,000 meters underneath the seabed. The technology scans the bottom of the ocean in great detail providing information as to the location and size of oil reservoirs.

1,000 metres below the sea the environment is harsh, ice cold and very dark with no natural light. An ROV has strong floodlights that identify tri-pod objects anchored to the bottom of the seabed. These are receiver stations for electromagnetic waves transmitted into the seafloor, giving feedback on the seabed itself and finding resource deposits.

When oil companies want to find out whether drilling at depth is worth the cost, they often rely on Controlled Source Electro Magnetic (CSEM) technology. This technology utilises the differences in the electrical resistance of different bottom layers to provide signs of the location and size of oil fields. The CSEM technology uses a very strong power source to generate an electro-magnetic field, as well as several receivers to record the fields. These tripod receivers are placed on the sandy bottom and pick up electromagnetic signals that have been changed by the layers through which they passed.

In 2016 Petro-Marker placed 25 new tripods in the North Sea. What sets this technology apart is a new measuring method that uses a vertical transmitter and receiver to find resources. This enables a much more detailed resolution and data measurement up to 5,000 meters beneath the seafloor.

The tripods are about 4 meters high and made from a combination of glass fibre and special foams. Due to the sensitive electronics, metal parts cannot be used. This far below the surface, the pressure is extreme, and the salt water is hostile. At the center of the tripods (receivers), the antennas are aligned as vertically as possible on the seabed.

The system uses a maxon controller (EPOS) and a compensator. The units are encased in plastic to protect them from salt-water corrosion. Several modifications were required to meet the requirements of this application: An EC-i 40 motor, GP 42 planetary gearhead and compensator that were all customised. A dual seal, that imitates typical submarine technology, ensures the system is able to resist the enormous water pressure. The control electronics of the underwater drive are housed in a pressure-neutral glass ball that is able to resist the pressures of up to 600 bar – one of the challenges of this extreme application.

For more information or to speak to one of our Sales Engineers call tel. +61 2 9457 7477.


maxon DC motors exploring ocean depths up to 6,000m.

I-4202 Sub

An ROV fitted with maxon DC motors found the largest submarine built in WWII, lying 190 metres below the ocean. The DC motors and drives have the ability to reach depths up to 6,000m.

A powerful maxon DC motor and planetary gearhead fitted with ceramic components, was the driving system behind an ROV that found the I-402 Japanese Submarine, destroyed by US forces at the end of WWII. Fitted with sonar, depth gauge, scanner, high-res camera and powerful LED lights the ROV is controlled by an operator using a compass and real-time video stream. The maxon DC drives are also fitted to the underwater gripper and camera adjustment mechanism.

The motors and gearheads were selected for their high power, small size, low noise and ability to withstand vibrations to prevent the seals failing when underwater. The DC motors ability to reach depths of up to 6,000 metres was crucial in determining appropriate drive systems for the ROVs. Re-discovered in mid-2015, the submarine was able to be identified thanks to the ROVs powerful lights illuminating its unique features.

For more information on ROVs or motor drive systems for underwater exploration please call maxon motor Australia Tel +61 2 9457 7477.


Comparison of the highest points on Earth vs. depths of the Ocean © 2016 maxon motor ag


The Seamor ROV © 2016 maxon motor ag


ROVs controlled from your smartphone.


An ROV that takes live video and underwater pictures and streams them directly to your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The brainchild of Aquabotix Technology Corporation, the HydroView ROV was designed with user friendly functionality for widespread accessibility. Operated by tilting the device similar to playing a video game, the ease of control with accurate underwater movement was a blueprint essential, as well as intuitive operation and user-friendly interface for quick uptake. Weighing less than 5kg total the motion system consists of thee propellers each run by a separate brushed maxon DC motor. The maxon A-max DC motor has low vibration and is smooth running. The specifications were tailored to a longer motor shaft which typically would intensify vibrations created from within the motor. Vibrations compromise the video recording, can trigger system leaks and deteriorate the electronics and drive functions. Not only does the A-max DC motor withstand vibrations but it provides high torque and is physically small. The 26mm motors are lightweight and proficient, operating from 10 volts for up to three-hours operation on a full battery. The two DC motors placed on either side of the ROV control the speed up to 3 knots. The third DC motor is on the back of the ROV providing depth control up to 45 metres.

For more information on DC motors for use in ROV applications please contact maxon motor Australia on +61 2 9457 7477.

Amax26_V_195px1     HydroView-underwater

The maxon A-max 26 Ø26 mm graphite brushes 7w and the HydroView ROV © 2016 maxon motor ag