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Servo Motors

Servo Motors
A servomotor is a rotary actuator that allows for precise control of angular position, velocity and acceleration. It consists of a suitable motor coupled to a sensor for position feedback. It also requires a relatively sophisticated controller, often a dedicated module designed specifically for use with servomotors.Servomotors are not a different class of motor, on the basis of fundamental operating principle, but use servomechanism to achieve closed loop control with a generic open loop motor.

For more related information please refer:
Motor Types-Introduction
Motor Types- DC Motor
Motor Types- AC Motor
Motor Types- Special Types of Motor
Stepper Motor

Servo refers to an error sensing feedback control which is used to correct the performance of a system. Servo or RC Servo Motors are DC motors equipped with a servo mechanism for precise control of angular position. The RC servo motors usually have a rotation limit from 90° to 180°. Some servos also have rotation limit of 360° or more. But servos do not rotate continually. Their rotation is restricted in between the fixed angles.

Applications of Servos
The Servo motors are used for precision positioning. They are used in robotic arms and legs, sensor scanners and in RC toys like RC helicopter, Airplanes and cars.

Servomotors are used in applications such as robotics, CNC machinery or automated manufacturing.

Servomotors vs. Stepper motors
Servomotors are generally used as a high performance alternative to the stepper motor. Stepper motors have some inherent ability to control position, as they have built-in output steps. This often allows them to be used as an open-loop position control, without any feedback encoder, as their drive signal specifies the number of steps of movement to rotate. This lack of feedback though limits their performance, as the stepper motor can only drive a load that is well within its capacity, otherwise missed steps under load may lead to positioning errors. The encoder and controller of a servomotor are an additional cost, but they optimise the performance of the overall system (for all of speed, power and accuracy) relative to the capacity of the basic motor. With larger systems, where a powerful motor represents an increasing proportion of the system cost, servomotors have the advantage.

Servomotors vs. DC motors

A DC motor has a two wire connection. All drive power is supplied over these two wires—think of a light bulb. When you turn on a DC motor, it just starts spinning round and round. Most DC motors are pretty fast, about 5000 RPM (revolutions per minute).
With the DC motor, its speed (or more accurately, its power level) is controlled using a technique named pulse width modulation, or simply PWM. This is idea of controlling the motor’s power level by strobing the power on and off. The key concept here is duty cycle—the percentage of “on time” versus“off time.” If the power is on only 1/2 of the time, the motor runs with 1/2 the power of its full-on operation.

The servo motor is actually an assembly of four things: a normal DC motor, a gear reduction unit, a position-sensing device (usually a potentiometer—a volume control knob), and a control circuit.
The function of the servo is to receive a control signal that represents a desired output position of the servo shaft, and apply power to its DC motor until its shaft turns to that position. It uses the position-sensing device to determine the rotational position of the shaft, so it knows which way the motor must turn to move the shaft to the commanded position. The shaft typically does not rotate freely round and round like a DC motor, but rather can only turn 200 degrees or so back and forth.
The servo has a 3 wire connection: power, ground, and control. The power source must be constantly applied; the servo has its own drive electronics that draw current from the power lead to drive the motor.
The control signal is pulse width modulated (PWM), but here the duration of the positive-going pulse determines the position of the servo shaft.

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