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?


1 Answer 1


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, 2016 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ 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, 2016 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ And that mechanism is present in the video I linked in the question? $\endgroup$
    – JDS
    Oct 9, 2016 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ 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, 2016 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, 2016 at 9:46

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