A servo motor which operates on the principle of a servomechanism is used in a large number of applications which are critical to position control. We cannot use a DC motor to control a tail of aircraft because controlling a DC motor for accurate positioning is not only difficult but almost impossible. In applications like this, we rely on a servomotor to perform the job correctly. We will now discuss various applications of a servomotor.
Servo Motor in Robotics
One of the most popular servo motor applications is in robotics. Consider a simple pick and place robot. A pick and place robot is such a robotic machine which is used to pick an object from one position and place the object at different position (as the name suggests).
Now, in order to pick an object from position A and place it in position B the motors which are used to actuate the joints are servo motors. This is because; we have to plan the angular movement of each and every joint to complete this task of pick and place.
Once this data is fed to the robot controller, the robot will continuously do its job. The controller will send PWM data to the individual motors of the robot. This gives precise angular control of the arm which is not possible with a regular DC motor. The application of servomotors in robotics can be experienced on a small scale in electronics projects. The best Arduino starter kits will include a small servo motor for experimentation.
Servo Motor in Conveyors
Conveyors are used in Industrial manufacturing and assembling units to pass an object from one assembly station to another. Let’s consider an example of bottle filling process, in the process the bottle needs to be filled with the liquid and moved to the next stage which is mainly the packaging stage.
So in order to achieve this conveyor belts are used with servo motors so that the bottle moves precisely to the desired location and stops so that the liquid can be poured into it and then it is guided to the next stage. This process continues until stopped. Hence the precise position control ability of the servo shaft comes in handy.
Servo Motor Applications in Camera Auto Focus
Today’s modern digital cameras are very advanced. One of the advanced features is its ability to auto focus on the object to be captured. When the image of the object is created within the digital signal processor of the camera, it is checked for sharpness.
Basically, if the focal length (measured from camera lens) is not proper, the image appears to be blurred. The corrective action to position the lens precisely so that the sharpest image is captured is done using a highly precise servo motor fitted within the camera. This is another important example of servo motor applications.
Servo Motor in Robotic Vehicles
The robotic vehicles today which are used for highly complex military as well as industrial applications use servo motors for wheels. Here, the angular movement is not of importance since the servo used is a continuous rotation servo. The ability of the servo to generate enough torque so as to quickly move the vehicle from halt and then to quickly stop it as well is what is important. Also the velocity with which the vehicle should move can be controlled.
Servo Motor in Solar Tracking Systems
Solar power generation and usage is gaining importance as people move towards clean and renewable energy regime. Earlier, Solar panels that were installed were static and remained in one position for the entire duration of the day. General Science dictates that the Sun is not always facing in one direction and that its position relative to the Solar panel will change. This implies that we are not fully utilizing the power of the sun to extract maximum energy out of it.
But, if we attach servo motors to the solar panel s in such a way that we are able to precisely control its angle of movement so that it closely follows the Sun, then the overall efficiency of the system vastly increases.
This is another application of servo where angle control is critical and achievable by a servo motor. These are some of many servomotor applications.