Actuators allow robots to change physical quantities, interacting with their world. In this section:
To distinguish robots from lowly data collection systems, we have the Act domain of robotics. Robots usually have actuators, or devices that turn stored energy into motion. These actuators could be simple relay switches opening and closing valves in a coffee machine, or they could be many-ton hydraulic systems in gigantic robots like Stompy. When building your robot, you’ll need to make a few connected choices as you decide how it will interact with the physical world. First, you’ll need to pick the right actuator for your task, then the right control electronics to suit the demand you’ll be putting on the actuator and the rest of your electric system. Once the electromechanical is designed, you’ll need to write or modify existing code to drive and control your actuators.
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Types of Actuators: Know your options and learn how they work
- DC Motors (Brushed, Brushless)
- AC Motors (Single-Phase, Poly-Phase, Linear, Induction, Synchronous)
- Stepper Motors
- Linear Actuators (Piston, belt, Lorenz Force, etc.)
- Pneumatics (Soft robotics)
Control Electronics & Drivers: Make your actuators act
- Servo Controllers
- DC Motor Drivers
- Stepper Motor Drivers
Control Theory, Manipulation & Navigation: Make your actuators act intelligently
- Intro to Control Theory
- PID Control