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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the mission of Motus Labs?

Motus Labs’ mission is to revolutionize the robotic drive industry with an innovative new gear design that uses mating surfaces instead of traditional gear teeth. The M-DRIVE design provides superior performance at a competitive price.  Statistics show that the market demand for actuators and drives will continue to grow substantially and the supply will increase to meet demand. We believe the M-DRIVE will become essential for the proliferation of the emerging Service Robot Market due to the reduced weight and costs that dramatically improves the overall ROI of a robot and provide the ability to create new applications – Build What You Can Imagine.

What is the background of the leadership at Motus Labs?

One of the Company’s greatest strengths is its leadership team with a rich history of creating products that transform markets, and growing companies from inception to IPO and M&A. The team averages 25 years of pertinent experience, with all key leadership roles filled. The CEO and Executive Chairman are both successful serial entrepreneurs and successful angel investors and board members.

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Why is Motus Labs M-DRIVE considered a disruptive technology?

The Motus M-DRIVE uses an entirely new and unique architecture that enables higher torque density and greater positioning accuracy at a significantly lower system weight and cost, without any need for special materials.

The M-DRIVE often beats competitors on key metrics due to its unique architecture which cuts weight and cost by using common materials and manufacturing processes.

  1. HIGH PERFORMANCE: Achieved by replacing age-old methods of brute-force gear-teeth with low-friction mating surfaces that won’t slip and intelligently controlled with the Smart-CAM™.
  2. UP TO HALF SOLUTION COST & WEIGHT: Smart-CAM follower design and mating surfaces can be manufactured using lightweight and low cost materials (aluminum and plastic) eliminates expensive steel alloys and complex manufacturing.
  3. FAST TURN-TIME: The M-DRIVE series spans a wide range of performance and applications—new M-DRIVES can be quickly designed and implemented with CAM Generator™ software tools.

How many patents does Motus Labs have issued and pending?

Motus Labs Patents: United States Patents

  • 9,261,176 B2 issued Feb. 16, 2016
  • 10,151,375 issued Dec. 11, 2018
  • 10,240,666 B2 issued March 26, 2019
  • 10,260,606 B2 issued April 16, 2019
  • 10,428,916 issued October 1, 2019

Other US & International patents are pending.

What sizes of M-DRIVES do you currently offer?

Motus currently offers the ML-110-20. Please contact us for more information regarding your specific application.

How difficult is it for a robot manufacturer to redesign hardware to accommodate the M-DRIVE?

If a robot manufacturer would like to replace their drives with a Motus M-DRIVE, we have various options. However, to take full advantage of the M-DRIVE  architecture features, a robot manufacturer can choose to design-in M-DRIVEs for the entire robot.



Do you offer a component set, or just assembled drives?

Currently no component sets, only fully assembled, lubricated and sealed drives. Please contact us for more information regarding your specific application.


How is the Motus M-DRIVE more reliable than a strain wave drive?

A strain wave drive has fewer active components in its drive design, but these parts can often experience higher stress than the M-DRIVE distributed load design.  This is reflected in the lower power efficiencies (80%) exhibited by strain wave drives.

In some common drives, you will find extremely tight tolerances for aligning the motor shaft with the wave generator.  We have been told by some robot manufacturers that these tolerances are almost impossible to meet and, as a result, the manufacturers’ budget for 60% efficiency.  This lost energy converts to heat and transferred to the motor, whereby the joint motor is a heat sink for the drive.  This results in either lower overall motor reliability or, more commonly, the joint designer specifying an oversized motor that can better manage the heat.

Due to the heating and poor drive efficiency described above, unless specialized grease is used, the joint will almost certainly need to be changed before the rated lifetime of the drive.

The Motus M-DRIVEs are designed to employ standard NLGI grade 2 lithium soap grease, and are shipped fully lubricated from the factory, and require no customer servicing during the rated lifetime of the unit, which meets or exceeds that of the CSG-20-100.

Which type of lubrication does M-DRIVE use?

In the series of M-Drives grease is the preferred lubrication method. Please contact us for more information regarding your specific application.

What is the M-DRIVE’s rated operating temperature range?

The M-DRIVE’s temperature range is 5°C to 45°C ambient temperature. Storage Temperature is listed as -30°C to 80°C. Please contact us for more information regarding your specific application.

Does the M-DRIVE maintain zero backlash over the full lifetime?

Yes, that is the M-DRIVE’s design goal. Please contact us for more information regarding your specific application.

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