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Learn: Act

The Theremino robotic arm.

Actuators allow robots to change physical quantities, interacting with their world. In this section: 
Types of Actuators: Know your options and learn how they work. 
How to Choose the Right Actuators for Your Robot 
Control Electronics & Drivers: Make your actuators act! 
Control Theory, Manipulation & Navigation: Make your actuators act intelligently
Act Codebase: Code to help you start acting. 

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.

As with all of our LEARN pages right now, we’re still feverishly producing content. By the end of the summer, all of these titles should have articles associated with them. Keep checking back in to see links appear!

Types of Actuators: Know your options and learn how they work

  • Servos
  • DC Motors (Brushed, Brushless)
  • AC Motors (Single-Phase, Poly-Phase, Linear, Induction, Synchronous)
  • Piezoelectrics
  • Stepper Motors
  • Linear Actuators (Piston, belt, Lorenz Force, etc.)
  • Pneumatics (Soft robotics)
  • Hydraulics
  • Haptics

Control Electronics & Drivers: Make your actuators act

Control Theory, Manipulation & Navigation: Make your actuators act intelligently

  • Intro to Control Theory
  • PID Control
  • Navigation
  • Manipulation

Act Codebase: Control Software & Drivers

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