Typical Applications

Move the cursor over the numbered images to see some examples of HDS Group product applications.

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Mars rover【Perseverance】

In February 2021, NASA's latest spacecraft "Perseverance" landed on Mars.Five "Harmonic Drive®" are used in the robot arm of this spacecraft.The spectrometer, laser and camera attached to the tip of the robot arm are accurately positioned in the harsh environment of 56 ° C below the effective temperature of Mars.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Humanoid robot

"Harmonic Drive ®" is used for the arms and legs of the robot. Next-generation robots are expected to be as close to humans as possible.

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Space industry (Hayabusa; Hayabusa 2)

Moog Inc. (US) uses HarmonicDrive® products in its gimbal actuators for ion thrusters. With their track record in space applications, HarmonicDrive® products are contributing to humanity’s first roundtrip expeditions from Earth to the asteroid belt.

Photo courtesy of
Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Subaru is large-scale optical-infrared telescope atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

The main mirror at the heart of the telescope has an effective diameter of 8.2m. To keep distortion within 0.1μm,264 actuators press the main mirror from the back. These are equipped with our HarmonicDrive® and AccuDrive® products. The telescope is peering 13billion light-years into space attempting to solve the mysteries of the birth of the universe.

Photo courtesy of
National Institutes of
Natural Sciences and
National Astronomical
Observatory of Japan

Semiconductor wafer transport robot

With its numerous advantages including compact size, high accuracy, high rigidity, smooth movement and long life, the AccuDrive® and HarmonicDrive® are used in clean room robots.

Photo courtesy
of Daihen corporation

Industrial robot

The HarmonicDrive® with its compact size, light weight, and high accuracy is used in the joints of industrial robots. These robots, which have to perform repeated actions accurately and without rest, support manufacturing in consumer electronics plants, car factories and other facilities around the world.


Lightweight, compact, and highly reliable HarmonicDrive® products are incorporated into engines and other components of luxury vehicles. HarmonicDrive® products are also used in small vehicles that are easy on the environment. In this function, they contribute to the realization of comfortable and eco-friendly mobility.

Photo courtesy of
Toyota Motor Corporation

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)

HarmonicDrive® and AccuDrive® products are used in the driving components of AGVs used in warehouses and factories. HarmonicDrive® products are also used in the joints of robotic arms. Robotic arms and AGVs work together to promote automatization and personnel reduction at logistics warehouses.

Flying cars

HarmonicDrive® products, notable for their small size and light weight, are contributing to a transition to electric propulsion of aircraft. Electrifying aircraft helps to realize an eco-society with greatly mitigated noise pollution and CO2 emissions, in addition to making possible new means of high-speed travel.

Drill steering system for oil and gas industries

The HarmonicDrive® is uesd in a steerable system that guides the drill bit for fast and accurate drilling of oil or gas wells. Because this steerable system enables accurate drilling through the rock, structure surrounding oil or gas, it contributes to higher well productivity.

Photo courtesy of Halliburton /
Sperry Drilling Services


HarmonicDrive® products are used in the joints of co-bots that perform tasks alongside personnel in factories and warehouses. Co-bots, which can work in conjunction with personnel, are expected to increase productivity and mitigate labor shortages.

Photo courtesy of
Techman Robot Inc.

Small robot finger module

A robot hand capable of catching a falling ball (at a rate of around 4m/s) in its fingers uses actuators in each joint equipped with a HarmonicDrive®. We are working closely with universities and research institutes aimed at opening up the future of motion control.

Photo courtesy of
Ishikawa Laboratory
Graduate School of
the University of Tokyo

Power assist suits

Power assist suits can provide walking support in medical contexts and reduce the burden of carrying heavy loads. Power assist suits are becoming more practical thanks to the incorporation of thin, lightweight, and compact HarmonicDrive® and AccuDrive® products.

Photo courtesy of
Hashimoto Laboratory of Shinshu University

Surgical robots

The unparalleled high-precision positioning control offered by HarmonicDrive® products makes surgical procedures easier and safer. The surgical field is undergoing dramatic change as long-distance surgery conducted with surgical robots is becoming a reality.

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