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Need motors for your robot? – Servo Motor Hack

Another quick post. If you are just starting on small scale robots you may wondering what motors to use for movement. A quick google search may scare you actually šŸ™‚

I am telling you this because I had a similar experience when I was starting out. You see, if you look for ‘robot motors’ you are most probably be taken to a DC motors website. First of all a decent DC motor would probably cost more than a newcomer wants to spend just to test it out. And most important it is quite complicated as you need to mess around with DC motor controllers and other stuff like gearing.

A great simple and trouble free solution is to start with servo motors. Servo motors are mainly used for precision positioning. If you ever played with a Remote Controlled (RC) car/boat/airplane then most probably you used a servo motor. Servo motors ARE DC motors however everything is hidden from you. You just need to apply 5V-GND and the control signal (later on that) and you are set. What is actually very convinient with servo motors is the prebuilt gearing. You don’t need to mess around as its already build in the casing.

There is only one small problem! As I said above, servo motors are used for precision positioning. That means it will turn at a certain point and then stop and hold there (this is done using a pot resistance). Now this is a problem us since we need it for moving around our robot hence we need continuous rotation! Don’t worry though, searching the internet will reveal the solution! You can actually hack servo motors very easily to prevent them from stopping. I guide I found quickly is herehttp://www.seattlerobotics.org/guide/servohack.html

This was again just a quick tip post for those that were not familiar with the servo motor. If you have any questions just shoot away!

Oh and by the way. Driving a servo motor is not as straight forward as some people would like šŸ™‚ We need to feed it with a PWM signal where it’s high pulse time defines the angle of rotation (stable/clockwise/anticlockwise)


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