Take a look at this monster lifting a car.

Now I don't think one can get that power by plugging into a wall outlet. So how are these huge robots (their servos) powered? Gasoline? How is power stored, if it needs to be?


Industrial Robots with having as aim manipulation of large objects are powered electrically in almost all cases (30-40 years ago there have been popular hydraulic variants).

Industrial robots are powered by industrial 400V 3 phase current, so in a sense, they are plugged in a wall outlet, but but a household wall outlet but an industrial one, like this.

enter image description here

A typical household single-phase outlet in Europe can supply a 16 Ampere current at 230 Volts, that is about 3.68 kVA. As a comparison, high payload Fanuc Robot (similar to the one in the question), the M-900iA, equipped with an R-30iB controller requires an industrial 3 phase outlet which can supply 18kVA. Documentation here. This translates to a current consumption of 25.981 Amperes at 400V supply voltage.

Note1: Most industrial robot have a spring system to easier cope with high payloads by balancing the load of axis 2.

  • $\begingroup$ Could you expand on this Note1? Kinda off-topic but I'm curious of the mechanics for how these spring systems help. Great answer btw will accept! =) $\endgroup$
    – JDS
    Oct 9 '16 at 17:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ They are usually hydro/pneu springs, so no mechanics :). The are pre-tensioned, so they always try to pull axis 2 up. This reduces the required torque of the motor in axis two. Here is a patent about it: google.com/patents/US20110072930 $\endgroup$
    – 50k4
    Oct 9 '16 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ And that mechanism is present in the video I linked in the question? $\endgroup$
    – JDS
    Oct 9 '16 at 17:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ yep. that yellow cylinder behind axis 2 connected with a rotation joint (black spot) to the linkage. fanuc.eu/~/media/corporate/products/robots/m2000/m2000-900l/… $\endgroup$
    – 50k4
    Oct 9 '16 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ It's always best to avoid blanket statements: spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/… *8') $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Oct 17 '16 at 9:46

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