Drives for rehabilitation and prosthetics

Mastering movement.

Climbing stairs, tying shoelaces, grabbing a fork – the emulation of human movements with mechatronic systems is one of the greatest challenges for engineers. Highly innovative companies rely on drive systems from maxon for precise movements.

Rehabilitation & Prosthetics

Medical technology of the future.

Lightweight, powerful, reliable, and easy to use – these are just some of the requirements that prostheses, exoskeletons, and functional devices for rehabilitation and exercise therapy have to meet. The enormous technical challenge lies in achieving high torque and speed with a compact design. This makes the choice of integrated electric motors so important. maxon works closely with customers to find the perfect drive for the specific application.

Absolute reliability

High performance and excellent power density

High torque in a compact design

High dynamics

Highly efficient motors (low heat build-up and long battery life)

Precise control

Low vibration

Low noise emissions


Our drive solutions for rehabilitation medicine.


Advances in robotics and biomechatronics make it possible for exoskeletons with intelligent technology to support a treatment protocol for neurological and musculoskeletal movement restrictions. The end product must be strong enough to assist in physical exercise, yet not be heavy or unwieldy. We develop and produce customized or configured systems with encoders and motors. maxon is already familiar with the requirements of this growth market and has experience from 20 years of medical technology development.


    Modern, motor-driven prostheses are cutting-edge technologies in the field of biomechatronics. The technical challenge lies in the complex requirements that a competitive product must meet in terms of both hardware and software. High torque and high speed are required. Added to this is the development of a mechanical structure that allows for a lightweight, compact, and quiet device as well as the ability to precisely control all the mechanisms that reproduce walking. This makes the choice of integrated electric motors and the expertise of maxon’s medical business unit so important when it comes to finding the perfect drive for a specific application.

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      Our product recommendations.

      Many movements involve large forces, but at the same time a high level of dynamics is required, since the motors must constantly change the direction of rotation due to the movement. In addition, a compact design that takes up as little space as possible must be considered.


      DCX platform


      • ∅6 … 35 mm
      • up to 18 000 rpm
      • up to 138 mNm
      DC-MAX 22

      DC-max platform


      • ∅16 … 26 mm
      • up to 11 000 rpm
      • up to 32.7 mNm

      ECX platform


      • ∅4 ... 22 mm
      • up to 120 000 rpm
      • up to 34 mNm
      Product recECX_flat_22S_STD_Stator

      ECX FLAT platform


      • ∅22 ... 32 mm
      • up to 15 000 rpm
      • up to 106 mNm

      Our gearheads combine maximum power with low weight and low noise levels. This does not affect the performance of the prosthesis and increases user comfort.


      GPX UP Platform


      • ∅22 … 70  mm
      • i= 3.9 … 1526
      • up to 70 Nm 

      Encoders are essential for the dynamic control of prostheses. During normal, conscious movement, reflex loops between muscles, nerves, and the brain interact about 20 times per second. For a prosthesis or an exoskeleton, high-performance sensors are required to reproduce the necessary motor skills as closely as possible.


      ENX EASY


      • ∅10 / 16 mm
      • up to 1024 cpt / 4096 steps
      • RS 422 line driver

      TSX MAG


      • for motors DT 38 … 90
      • 2560 cpt 
      • RS 422 line driver

      Drive solutions for medical technology

      Download brochure now.

      Get an initial overview of the possible applications in medical technology and learn more about our key product series for high-tech prostheses and exoskeletons. 

      Corporate Blog

      Success stories

      For millions of people, modern prostheses and intelligent mechanical assistance systems mean not only a significantly improved quality of life, but also inclusion, participation, and independence.
      Go to the blog
      prosthesis_actuades_webmaxon Story

      “A prosthetic will never be perfect”

      A small start-up is set to turn the market for hand prostheses on its head – with an innovative spirit, compact DC motors, and a touch function.
      Learn more
      C-Leg 4_Ottobock_schwarzweissmaxon Story

      This prosthetic leg is highly intelligent

      Hiking, going cycling with friends. With the right prosthetic leg, amputees can once again lead an active life. Ottobock and maxon motor are helping to improve the quality of their lives.
      Learn more
      1000x1500MotorImage1maxon Story

      Custom Drive Solutions for Prosthetic Assemblies.

      With the use of the right motor, a miniature diaphragm vacuum pump keeps artificial legs in place—eliminating the need for straps and belts—making life simpler and less stressful for users.
      Learn more
      Go to the blog


      Cybathlon & maxon

      Cybathlon, a non-profit project of ETH Zurich, sees itself as a platform that challenges development teams from all over the world to develop assistive technologies suitable for everyday use with and for people with disabilities. maxon supports Cybathlon as a sponsor and presenting partner.

      Frequently asked questions

      • How big is the gearhead backlash?

        maxon gearheads differ in their gearhead backlash. For the standard gearheads, this value is indicated in our catalog on the respective product page under Average Backlash.

      • Are there zero-backlash gearheads?

        Zero-backlash gearheads have very little free play. A maxon gearhead with very low backlash is currently in development (Cycloflex). Zero-backlash gearheads can also be integrated by Harmonic Drive.

      • Gearhead direction of rotation?

        The gearhead direction of rotation is irrelevant in the application (CW and CCW)

      • Are the gearheads backdrivable?

        Planetary gearheads are designed for efficiency and therefore not intended to be backdrivable. Single-stage or two-stage gearheads may be backdrivable in some cases. With a three-stage gearhead, however, backdrivability is not possible. Even “zero-backlash” gearheads are not backdrivable.

      • What range of encoder resolutions can be offered?

        Encoder resolutions start at 1 cpt to 65536 cpt (RIO encoder). Different absolute encoders (single-turn) are also available up to a 12-bit resolution.

      • Are dual-loop solutions/two encoders possible on one motor controller?

        Yes. The EPOS 4 supports dual-loop mode (two encoders).


      Any more questions?

      Our medical expert team will be happy to assist you.