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A robot that is to become the public face of Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre is using motors manufactured by Maxon to control its realistic humanoid movements.

First developed in 2006 by UK company Engineered Arts, Robothespian stands 5ft 9in tall and has a full range of upper-body movement.

Nasa has decided to employ the GBP79,000 robot’s third generation as a figurehead – meeting and greeting visitors to its futuristic Cape Canaveral base.

Robothespian 3’s lifelike humanoid movements are powered by a combination of compressed-air ‘muscles’ and Maxon motors.

A mixture of Maxon’s high-performance A-max and neodymium magnet-powered RE-max motors are used to give the robot’s hands, arms and torso a performance that is reliable and realistic.

maxon motor is the world’s leading supplier of high-precision drive systems.

maxon has earned a reputation for constant innovation and unflinching reliability – seeing the company’s products used by the world’s top engineers in fields as demanding as space exploration, formula 1 racing and sub-sea applications.

The maxon product range is developed on a modular basis, giving literally hundreds of thousands of perfectly compatible motor, gear and controller combinations to suit a huge array of applications. With full customisation possible for almost every product, maxon’s experienced sales engineers are on-hand to assist design engineers select precisely the right solution for their needs.

DC motors with ironless winding and flat motors (up to 500W output power, mechanical and electronic commutation).
Planetary, spur and special gears.
Sensors (encoders, DC tachos, resolvers).
Servo amplifiers, position controllers.
High-tech CIM and MIM components.
Customer specific drive solutions.

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