Robots are not only used in industries such as car manufacturing. They are also used in agriculture and construction. Scientists had even created robots that can diffuse bombs in war zones. Before, humans placed their lives in danger to neutralize bomb threats. Today, robots are used for the job. If anything happens in the field, the robot ensures that no life is lost.
Seeing the countless uses of robots, many aspire to create their own and sell them to a specific industry. If you're planning to create your automated machine, you have to be acquainted with the different parts that make a robot work. In this article, let's discuss one of the most important parts that run a robot - servo motors. Indeed, how effective is a servo for robot movement?
What is a Servo?
Servo motors are used to create a variety of robots. They consist of four parts, namely: the electronic assembly, the case, the drive gears, and the output spline.
To further understand how servo motors work, let's discuss its components. The electronic assembly consists of either an AC or DC motor, a potentiometer, and a controller. The case, on the other hand, serves as the housing of the servomotor and all of its components. Additionally, the drive gears reduce the motor's speed output to generate a higher servo output.
Lastly, the output spline, attached to the output shaft, is the final interaction point between a servo motor and the activity it will deploy. The output spline of the servo is usually attached through a control rod. It transmits the commands from the control booth and allows the machine to move in an equivalent movement.
Now that we know the parts, let’s see how the servo motor functions. The servo motor works by receiving the signal from a motion controller. The servo will then rotate at a specific angle depending on the PWM or the pulse width modulation of the signal.
According to the studies and observations of experts, a pulse frequency of 20 ms and a pulse width of 1.5 ms will generate a 90° rotation of the output spline. A pulse width of 2 ms, on the other hand, will make the output spline continue rotating until it reaches a 180° position. Lastly, if the pulse width is at 1 ms, the output spline will rotate 180° backward to reach the 0° position. This is the angle where the servo is at rest.
Servo motors have a potentiometer that monitors the position of the spline. When the output spline reaches a specific position, the power to the motor is immediately cut. Even without power, the servo will hold the commanded position until it receives another signal.
One of the key features of innovative servomotors is proportional operation. It can operate as fast as it can to move the robot in the desired position. The best part is, servos have a loop system that allows them to adjust, depending on the need of the machine. For example, if the command says the motor should be at 180° but it stopped at 140°, the servo will detect the discrepancy between the actual output and the desired output. After its computation, it will do its best to match the commanded position.
How Are Servos Useful in Robotics
There are countless benefits of using servo motors in robotics. Aside from being powerful, servos are easily programmable to carry out motions that the robots need to deploy. One application of servos is in robotic welding. These motors are mounted to each joint of the robot to actuate movement and add dexterity to the machine.
Servos are also used in robotic vehicles. Believe it or not, servo motors are essential in the steering system of autonomous vehicles. This is not only applicable to robotic cars and airplanes but also bomb diffuser robots.
Servo motors are likewise used on robots that supersede the physical abilities of human beings. An example of this is the Growbot that can plant seeds faster than human beings. Another example is the Ocean One Robot, which is made to reach the bottom of the ocean to gather coral specimens gently without damaging the aquatic ecosystem.
Now that you know the importance of servo motors and drives to robots, you can use them to create efficient and competent robots that can aid and benefit human activities. Thanks to the continuous innovation of engineers, there are countless servo motor brands for each kind of a robot.
This is just the introduction to servos as an essential part of robotics. Your learning should not stop there! Visit Online Threat Alerts to learn more about technology. With persistence, you can be the next legend that sparks the fifth industrial revolution!