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Application of harmonic reducer in industrial robot arm

With the rapid development of science and technology, industrial robots have become an indispensable part of the manufacturing industry. Their applications range from automobile manufacturing to electronic product assembly, and are everywhere. In this field, high precision and high efficiency transmission device is very important. Among the many transmission devices, harmonic reducer have emerged in the field of industrial robots with their unique design and excellent performance.

Industrial robots are mainly composed of controller, servo and reducer. These three components work together to achieve controllable, stable and accurate completion of the standard action of the robot, and each component is indispensable.

1. Controller: As the brain of the robot, it controls the position, posture and trajectory of the robot through the combination of hardware and software;

2. Servo motor: as the driving force of the robot, it outputs torque according to the command sent by the controller to dynamically control the speed and position of the robot;

3. Reducer: Servo motor generally output high speed, small torque, can not meet the needs of the robot body movement, so need to reduce the speed and increase the torque through the reducer.


Credits via: robotics.kawasaki

The reducer is the highest cost part of the industry robot body

Reducers belong to the upstream component parts of the robot industry chain. The midstream of the industrial chain is the manufacturing of robot bodies, and the downstream is integrated applications. According to Statista data, reducers account for the highest proportion of the total cost of industrial robots, accounting for more than 35%.


Credits via: Statista

The number of reducers used in industrial robot arm

Generally speaking, the six-axis robot can use six harmonic speed reducers, the cooperative robot can use 6-7 harmonic drive reducers, a SCARA robot can use 2 harmonic reducers, the humanoid robot's legs, arms, waist and neck use a total of 15-40 reducers, each leg is equipped with 6 harmonic drive gears. The reducer usage increases with the increase in usage and complexity of the limbs. According to the requirements of load, volume, speed and accuracy, the robot manufacturer chooses and combines the harmonic reducers or other types of reducers.


Tesla Optimus: The robot's torso contains 28 joints, all of which require reducers.

Credits via: notateslaapp

Why do industrial robots need high-precision harmonic drive reducer?

The power source of industrial robots is generally an AC servo motor, because it is driven by pulse signals, and the servo motor itself can achieve speed regulation. Industrial robots usually perform repetitive actions to complete the same process. In order to ensure that industrial robots can reliably complete process tasks in production and ensure process quality, the positioning accuracy and repeat positioning accuracy of industrial robots are very high. Therefore, in order to improve and ensure the accuracy of industrial robots, it is necessary to use harmonic drive reducers. Another function of harmonic reducer in industrial robot is to transfer higher torque, when the load is large, it is not cost-effective to blindly increase the power of the servo motor, the output torque can be increased in the appropriate speed range through the harmonic reducer. The existence of harmonic reducer enables the servo motor to run at an appropriate speed, and accurately reduce the speed to the speed required by each part of the industrial robot, improve the rigidity of the mechanical body and output higher torque.

What are the advantages of harmonic gear reducers?

1.High precision

Harmonic gearbox have extremely high transmission accuracy, usually can reach the level of several arc seconds. This high accuracy ensures the accuracy and stability of industrial robots in various complex tasks.

2.High torque

The harmonic gear reducer can provide extremely high torque density while being compact in size. This means that in 

a limited space, industrial robots can obtain higher torque output and are suitable for various

application scenarios with high torque requirements.

3.High efficiency

Compared with traditional reducers, harmonic reducer have higher transmission efficiency. 

During long-term operation, they can reduce energy loss, improve the overall efficiency 

of the system, and reduce the usage costs.

4.Small size and light weight

Compared with ordinary gear devices, the volume and weight can be greatly reduced, 

achieving miniaturization and lightweight.

5.Long service life

The harmonic reducer uses high-strength materials and advanced manufacturing processes 

to have a long service life, which means that industrial robots can operate more reliably 

and reduce downtime caused by transmission component failure.

Laifual: Your trusted harmonic gearbox manufacturer in the world

As one of China's leading manufacturers of high-precision harmonic reducers, Laifual has been 

committed to the research, development and application of harmonic reducer technology for many years. Currently,  it has achieved full  coverage of four series of 8-40 models, and its 

products have been exported to more than 100 countries around the world, and has been  unanimously recognized by customers.

“G”series strain wave gear

G series strain wave gear is a product developed for high torque customers, with compact structure to meet the requirements of high torque, high load and high reliability. Compared with LH and LS standard series, the torque capacity is increased by more than 30%, and the service life is increased by more than 43%.

“N”series harmonic gear

N series harmonic gear is a lightweight product of our company. Through the optimization of structure and material, the weight of N series harmonic reducer is reduced by more than 30% compared with the standard series under the condition of ensuring sufficient rigidity, strength and service life. Not only the lightweight of mechanical equipment itself, but also the lightweight of industrial robots can realize its high-speed and increase the load weight.

“Mini”series harmonic drive

8-type and 11-type miniature harmonic drive are the mini product series launched by Laifual. With its small volume (coin size), low backlash and high torque, it has become an excellent choice for industrial robots to operate in smaller spaces.


As a high-performance transmission device, harmonic reducer shows great potential in the field 

of industrial robots. With the continuous advancement of science and technology, harmonic 

reducers will continue to lead the development of industrial robots and promote the 

manufacturing industry to move in a more intelligent and precise direction. In the future, 

we can expect harmonic reducers to play a more important role in industrial robot applications 

and inject new vitality into the development of manufacturing.

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