Beef up on robotic
By Tod E. Kurt
Photography by Tod Kurt
You’ve seen them in robots and toys, or at least
heard the distinctive zzt-zzt-zzt sound that
accompanies their movement. R/C servomotors,
designed for use in radio-controlled hobby cars
and planes, are a common tool for robotics,
movie effects, and puppeteering.
Servos don’t spin like normal motors, but
instead rotate and stop at a commanded position between 0 and 180 degrees. They’re one
of the easiest ways to add motion to a project,
and there are many different kinds of servos
to choose from.
Servos can also be hacked to create high-quality, digitally controlled, variable-speed
gearmotors, with a few simple modifications.
In this article I’ll explain the basics of how to
use servos, and how to hack them to make
continuous rotation servos as well.