Harmonic Drive and robotics joint

hey guys
I want to design an industrial robotic arm so I need to learn about arm joint and type of harmonic drive
can you help me to learn about this topics or can you introduce me some reference
Thanks a lot

@MohammadAK Welcome to the RobotShop Community! Anything specific you’d like to know? Are you looking to design your own harmonic drive or use what’s on the market? Quite a few people have successfully designed their own cycloid gearing, but harmonic gearing is a lot harder to manufacture. Harmonic gearing is amazing because:

  • Very high gear ratio in a single stage (so high efficiency as well compared to other methods)
  • Compact for the gear ratio, and therefore quite a lot lighter weight
  • Incredibly low backlash allows for incredible angular accuracy
  • Assuming the gearing is well designed, can withstand high torque / forces

… this having been said, they require incredibly high machining tolerances and are very expensive if you want all of the above advantages.

Hi cbenson
Thank you very much for your guidance
I want to use these gearboxes to build an industrial robot arm.
And the vague point for me is how to choose the right model of the harmonic drive gearbox that fits our robotic arm.
thanks a lot

@MohammadAK There are not many Harmonic drive manufacturers, so the selection is quite limited. First step is to search online for Harmonic drive manufacturers and see their product offering. Most can customize their stock products for an additional fee. When choosing any gearbox, the criteria listed in the previous reply tend to be most important:

  1. Torque transmission & gear ratio
  2. Price
  3. Weight
  4. etc.

If you’re not sure how to calculate the torque needed at each joint, which will help determine the choice of the motor, you’ll have quite a bit of research to do, as each semi-custom, low volume joint for a moderate sized industrial arm can easily cost $2,000 USD or more. A smaller robotic arm which uses Harmonic gearing and is very affordable (price is actually hard to beat) is:

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