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Humanoid Robot Relies on Brush DC Motor

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Humanoid Robot

Humanoid robots have become increasingly popular to take on a variety of human-like tasks. They typically can incorporate 20 or more degrees of freedom (the number of movable joints of a robot) to replicate human-like motion, including vision systems to read and audio systems to speak. Numerous miniature motors provide the dexterity that battery-powered robots need.

A European robot designer approached Portescap to increase motor performance, durability and optimization in their existing design. To provide cost savings over the competition, the motors needed to operate with the existing drive. Portescap engineers analyzed the motion elements and identified the optimal combination of motors. The resulting design exceeded the customer’s expectations and met the expected price points.

The Athlonix™ series of brush DC motors were chosen for their high efficiency, enabling the motors to operate cooler with improved battery life and increased power density. Motor inductances were adjusted to match the drive requirements and provide optimal speed torque characteristics. The power density of the Athlonix motors decreased motor diameters 6 – 8% and provided the required torque. The unique graphite commutation system allows for a longer life and more durable motor. Portescap motors exceeded the life test requirements by 50% and achieved in excess of 4 million cycles.


  • High efficiency
  • Long life
  • High power density
  • Easily customizable
  • Superior price to performance