Improbability Drive MkII

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Ken I

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Oct 31, 2010
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Cape Town, South Africa
Correct - the cycloidal drive is commonly used on the major axes - these are not backlash free but nearly so. Also reversible - friction critical - pumping in the wrong grease is the most common cause of failure.

A demonstration GIF of a cycloidal gearbox :-

I have never seen a harmonic drive suffer a fatigue failure or crack of any kind - if looked after (appropriate lubrication services) they typically last the life of the robot. Normally lack of lubrication causes them to wear out and develop too much backlash - that unit in my video is in fact "worn out".

Use of the wrong grease can lead to less than 50% efficiency - self locking and gearbox destruction can follow in a few days - I've seen it more times than I'd like to - we remove and plug all grease nipple points - too many factories have a grease monkey who has a simple mission - if it has a nipple - pump some grease into it.

A demonstration GIF of a harmonic drive :-

Both types are typically used in robotic applications.

Regards, Ken I
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