What is an actuator

What is an actuator?

Device that turns energy (typically electrical) to motion or some action

Features

  • Force
  • Speed
  • Torque
  • Power
  • Efficiency

Examples:

  • DC Motor
  • Servo Motor
  • Stepper Motor

DC Motor

  • Force is produced (F=ILB) due to the electric current in a wire inside a magnetic field.
  • Proportional to the current, therefore can be controlled by potentiometer
  • Hard to control precisely

Servo Motor

  • A DC motor with a control circuit
  • Servo motors are controlled by PWM through the control pin

Stepper Motor
  • Motor controlled by a series of electromagnetic coils.
  • The center shaft has a series of magnets mounted on it
  • The coils are alternately given current or not, creating magnetic fields which repulse or attract the magnets on the shaft, causing the motor to rotate.
  • Allows for very precise control of the motor. it can be turned in very accurate steps of set degree increments
  • The center shaft has a series of magnets mounted on it
  • Two basic types

Unipolar

Biploar