When Maxon’s brushless DC motors and gearheads were utilised in a revolving poker table, it was certainly a first. Thanks to these high torque geared motors, a 10 seater dining table can revolve into a poker table in just 10 seconds.

London designer Lee Rowland has an impressive list of famous clients including fashion designers Katharine Hamnett and Alexander McQueen and rapper and actor, Ice T and his heavy metal band Body Count.

His background in engineering and tool making has enabled him to produce unique and extraordinary items. His latest commission, which took several years to develop, is a poker table that turns into a dining table with the help of a brushless maxon flat motor and a planetary gearhead.

His client, Jeremy ‘Jez’ San OBE, is the President and Founder of, the first website that allows users to play poker in a virtual reality setting. Jez wanted to wow his guests with a hi-tech dining table, that had the capability to transform into a poker table. It was a huge challenge that led Lee to pioneer the use of vitreous enamel for the surface panel.

In order for the 100 kilo table top to revolve, Lee needed a high ratio, compact motor with a lot of torque. He looked around the industry but there wasn’t anything that came close to fulfilling his needs, until he discovered Maxon.

“I was told on many occasions by different industry specialists that we couldn’t do what we wanted with the table, in order to make it function the way it does,’ said Lee, “but I knew they were saying that only because it hadn’t been done previously and I was determined to give my client what he wanted.”

Lee worked closely with the sales engineers at Maxon Motor UK to determine his requirements. “Working with Maxon is easy. They always have good accurate advice and their knowledge of their products to the ‘nth’ degree allowed us to break new ground with loads and torque limits we were otherwise advised against.” Lee required a high torque flat profile motor for overall reduced length as space was an issue. Maxon engineers, Greg Dutfield and Shashi Mistry also specified ceramic planetary gear pins for high gearbox torque output and high performance.

The resulting piece is a beautiful, highly polished 10-seater dining table constructed in steel, aluminium, aerospace grade composites and vitreous enamel. It can rotate 180 degrees, in just 10 seconds, to transform into a poker table that can fit up to 10 players. Lee said: “I am very excited about the convertible table and where we  can take this with our now intimate understanding of it’s physical possibilities.”


Automation Update