Actuators are the components that actually move the robot’s joint. So let’s look at a few different actuation technologies that are used in robots.
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We recap the important points from this masterclass.
The most common type of actuator is a rotary electric motor so let’s look at the basic principles.
All mechanical systems exhibit friction and we learn about two broad classes of friction: linear and non-linear.
Electric motors are typically quite weak, they produce a low torque, so it’s very common to add a reduction gearbox.
We can model a DC motor as a resistor and a voltage source, and then understand the implications of controlling either the voltage or current supplied to the motor. We also learn about common methods for motor control such as the H-bridge driver and pulse width modulation.
A robot joint is a mechatronic system comprising motors, sensors, electronics and embedded computing that implements a feedback control system.
We learn how to describe the orientation of an object by a 3×3 rotation matrix which has some special properties.
A robot manipulator may have any number of joints. We look at how the shape of the Jacobian matrix changes depending on the number of joints of the robot.
Actuators have finite capability, that is they have a maximum torque, velocity and power rating.