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Maxon Robotics’ DC motors are being used to power a roving, solar-powered robot designed to explore and analyse areas of the Amazon Rainforest under threat from increased excavation of oil and gas.

Named ‘Chico Mendes’ in honour of a rainforest activist killed in 1988, the robot monitors water and soil quality in the Amazon Basin.

It was designed and constructed in partnership by sociological research institute Piatam, the Brazilian state university and Petrobras.

According to Maxon, the robot minimises its own impact on the environment it protects by using solar power and energy-efficient motors to travel unaided through the mud and swamps of the Amazon.

To ensure it runs as efficiently as possible, the designers incorporated eight of Maxon’s DC motors, which are designed to deliver high performance in a tiny space, with minimal energy usage.

Maxon’s RE 40 and RE 35 motors power the wheels and adaptive suspension respectively, while two planetary gearheads provide the necessary torque.

The motors use brushes made of precious metal to ensure constant low-contact resistance with the commutator, as well as low start-up voltages and minimal electrical interference, meaning Chico Mendes will remain an efficient robot for years to come.

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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