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maxon and ANYbotics, a strategic partnership

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Renowned for its Mars motors, drive specialist maxon is joining forces with the robotics startup ANYbotics as the supplier of drive systems for the autonomous ANYmal inspection robot. The robot will soon be marketed in large quantities. This cooperation will also benefit maxon, since ANYbotics provides important robotics know-how and is without a doubt the most successful young company in this field.

Press release, September 15, 2020

A solid partnership: maxon and ANYbotics are entering into a close, long-term collaboration and are thus strengthening Switzerland as a prime location for robotics. One of the decisions made by the two partners is that maxon, as global drive specialist, will handle the future development and production of the actuators for ANYmal. ANYmal is an autonomous, four-legged robot designed for inspecting industrial systems that will also  be able to take on certain hazardous maintenance tasks in the future. The robot can even cope with difficult infrastructure such as stairs and inclines, and is used in a wide variety of industries.

The maxon Group contributes 60 years of experience in drive technology to the partnership, as well as a global production infrastructure and validated processes, and will help to advance the commercial production and marketing of ANYmal – with competitive, high-performance drive systems, twelve of which are used in each robot. “In maxon, we have found the ideal partner for taking care of our drive technology as we transition from small series to mass production. With maxon’s expertise and infrastructure, we will be able to further optimize a core element of our robots and access state-of-the-art production methods,” said Péter Fankhauser, CEO of ANYbotics.

ANYbotics recently won the Swiss Economic Award 2020 and was chosen as the best startup in Switzerland in the Hightech/Biotech category. The company has valuable experience in robotics – a market that offers great potential for maxon. Eugen Elmiger, CEO of the maxon Group, said, “By collaborating with ANYbotics, we are merging know-how from different worlds. The creativity and high responsiveness of a startup are paired with the global and stable industrial environment of the maxon Group. Together we will create an energy-efficient and intelligent robotic drive, the likes of which has never been seen before.”

To further cement the partnership, the two companies are also coming closer geographically: maxon, which has its headquarters in the canton of Obwalden, is opening a lab at ZURI.CH CAMPUS in the Oerlikon district of Zürich, in close proximity to ANYbotics. Here the engineers and technicians will meet to discuss the progress on their projects. Additionally, maxon intends to use the lab to establish closer ties with ETH Zürich and the University of Zürich, offer technical support to young engineers, provide workspaces, and get talent on board. As Eugen Elmiger said, “We are already heavily involved with vocational education in and around Zürich and Lucerne. With the new lab, we will be in an even better position to support young talent in drive technology.”

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