Maxon Motors for Sumo Robots

Maxon Motors for Sumo Robots

Maxon RE35 DC Motors

Almost all Japan teams use Maxon dc motors for sumo robots. And we started to use at our projects. At this article I will explain why we use them.

At my latest projects,I used Maxon motors for drive. They have superior quality.  At  Fusion I used maxon RE40 Dc brushed motor. These motors rated 150 watt at 24V. They have incredible torque.

Firstly motors have very little response time due to the coreless structure. For RE40 response time is only 4 millisecond. Coreless structure also ensures no cogging with less inertia.

Moreover, motors have low starting currents, so spikes don’t occur.



Best Suitable Models for Sumo Robots:

RE40 and RE35 models 12V, 15V (For Maxon RE35 Model) or 24V voltage rated.  And 6 mm thickness shafts are better than smaller shafts for gear coupling. These motors are heavy! Re35 models are 350 gr each and Re40 models are 400 gr each. Pure power.


Usally we make custom-built spur gearboxes for reduction. Because:

  • Available gearboxes are more expensive ($$$)
  • You can’t find suitable reduction ratios like 5:1 – 6:1 – 7:1.
  • With preset gearboxes, placing gearhead motors to robot is more difficult.
  • Preset gearbox gears have smaller diameters and have smaller modules. So they are more brittle to impacts.
So we make gearboxes ourselves. With big gears robots are more immune to the impacts. 0,7 – 0,8, 0,9, 1 Module gears mostly used.

Maxon Dc Motor for sumo robot

Fusion’s Motors: With Avago encoders. For wiring I used thick silicon wires.

Below, in the video you can see motor’s precision movements with Maxon Epos motor controllers.  Controllers know motor’s position by optical encoders.

Maxon Motor Maintenance

Motors need no maintenance because of lifetime lubrication. But… We use motors at extreme conditions, so I have some recommendations:

  1. Use thin lubrication oil.
  2. Add decoupling capacitors, 100nf works fine.
  3. Make first movement with soft start.


I think only one drawback Maxon has.  It’s expensive $$$.  You can buy 10-50 motor with one maxon motor’s price. Quality is not cheap.
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Comments (3)

  • How to Make a Sumo Robot Reply

    […] are suitable. If you want to learn more about Maxon Motors just check out our information page Maxon motors for Sumo Robots. In last years, some projects use RC car brushless motors but this option is hard for basic usage. […]

    February 20, 2016 at 8:00 PM
  • Mario Villalobos Reply

    Hi! I was wondering if you may know which will be the speed and torque of the motor RE40 with 6,44;1 reduction at 12v
    Thank you!

    October 27, 2016 at 12:48 PM
  • Eric Banner Reply

    I’m looking for a good quality motor for a camera rig I’m building. 12V, 60rpm, with little noise. Can you give me some suggestions? I will use them for the pan and tilt mechanism of the camera rig. Thanks

    February 8, 2018 at 10:29 AM

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