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Manipulator Elements
o Manipulator
o Sensors
o End Effectors
o Controller
o Software
o Power supply
o An actuator is a type of motor for moving or controlling a
mechanismor system.
o It is operated by a source of energy.
o It converts energy into some useful mechanical work.
o There are three kinds of energy sources
1. Electric Energy
2. Pneumatic Energy
3. Hydraulic Energy
Electric Actuators
o Electric actuators are powered by electric energy.
o Mechanical output can be either rotational or linear
o Motors provide rotational motion
o Electromagnets and motor-gear assemblies provide linear
Electric Actuator Types
DC Motors
o As the name suggests, a DC
motor uses DC power to
o Can run in both directions
o Controlling speed Is easy.
o Advantages
Easy to control
Motors exist in a wide
power range (1W
High torque at zero
Can achieve higher
DC Motors
o Disadvantages
Brushes wear.
Limited overloading on
higher speeds.
Higher maintenance.
Expensive compared to
AC motors
DC Motors Components
o Stator : Stator is a
stationary winding or a
permanent magnet.
o Permanent magnets are
found in low power
applications where as high
power applications uses
wound stators.
o Armature : Armature is a
rotational winding.
o The rotating shaft of the
motor is connected to the
DC Motors Components
o Commutator : Rotational
electrical switch
o Windings of the armature
is connected to the
o Brushes : Carbon/soft
metallic contacts which
completes the circuit
Types of DC motors
o Permanent Magnet DC Motors
o Wound Rotor DC Motors
Shunt DC Motors
Series DC Motors
Compound DC Motors
DC Motors Operation
A simple DC electric
motor. When the coil is
powered, a magnetic field
is generated around the
armature. The left side of
the armature is pushed
away from the left magnet
and drawn toward the
right, causing rotation.
The armature continues to
rotate due to its inertia.
When the armature
becomes horizontally
aligned, the commutator
reverses the direction of
current through the coil,
reversing the magnetic
DC Motor Characteristics
o Torque of a motor is produced by the principle of Lorentz
o Lorentz force is the force exerted on a current carrying
conductor placed within an external magnetic field
o Force exerted on the conductor is given by
F = Bil
o Direction of the force can be found
using the Flemings Left Hand Rule.
o In a permanent magnet DC motor the torque is
proportional to the armature current. And back emf
(ElectroMotive Force)
DC Motor Characteristics
Governing Equations of DC motor
o Electrical torque

= KI
o Back EMF E
= K
o DC motor equivalent circuit
o DC motor characteristic equation
= E
DC Motor Characteristics
o H-bridge is a current
o PWM controller
o Advantages
Easy to control
Higher efficiency
Small component
Can drive DC motors in
both directions
Can be driven with a
H-bridge Operation
o The direction of the motor can be changed without changing
the supply polarity
o PWM signal form the microcontroller is applied to the relevant
gates of the H-bridge
DC Motor Control
o PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)
Duration of the on time in a pulse is varied.
A:crogc Ioltogc I
= I

= I

D = duty cycle =
u 1
Voltage supplied to the motor can be changed by
changing the duty cycle of the pulse.
Microcontroller or a microprocessor is used to change the
duty cycle of the pulse
DC Motor Control
o In a permanent magnet
DC motor armature
resistance and field
strength is constant.
o Since E
= K


o According to this equation

speed varies linearly with
the supply voltage.
DC Motor Control
Stepper (Reluctance) Motor
o Stepper motor is a
brushless DC motor.
o Full rotation is divided in to
a number of equal steps
o Can be positioned without
any feedback (open-loop
o Armature is a round
toothed permanent
magnet disk.
o Stator is a wire wound
stator with several number
of poles.
Stepper (Reluctance) Motor
o Applications
Precise positioning systems
Open loop positioning
Floppy disk drives
Computer printers
3D plotters (RepRap)
o Advantages
Can have precision control
Open loop controller
o Disadvantages
Jerky movements
Higher power consumption
Higher cost
Low torque to weight ratio
Stepper Motor Operation
o Stepper motors effectively have multiple "toothed"
electromagnets arranged around a central gear-shaped
piece of iron/magnet.
o A pair of electro magnets is energized by an external control
o This makes the one tooth of the armature toothed wheel
attracted to the electromagnets teeth.
o When one pair of teeth of the armature is
aligned to the stator energized pair of teeth,
the other teeth of the armature are slightly
offset with the next electromagnet.
o When the next electromagnet is turned on
and the first is turned off, the gear rotates
slightly to align with the next one, and from
there the process is repeated.
Stepper Motor Operation
o Frame 1: The top electromagnet (1) is
turned on, attracting the nearest teeth
of the gear-shaped iron rotor. With the
teeth aligned to electromagnet 1, they
will be slightly offset from right
electromagnet (2).
o Frame 2: The top electromagnet (1) is
turned off, and the right electromagnet
(2) is energized, pulling the teeth into
alignment with it. This results in a rotation
of 3.6 in this example.
o Frame 3: The bottom electromagnet (3)
is energized; another 3.6 rotation
o Frame 4: The left electromagnet (4) is
energized, rotating again by 3.6. When
the top electromagnet (1) is again
enabled, the rotor will have rotated by
one tooth position; since there are 25
teeth, it will take 100 steps to make a full
rotation in this example.
Stepper Motor Types
o There are two basic winding
arrangements for the
electromagnetic coils stepper motors
Unipolar Motors
A unipolar stepper motor has one winding
with center tap per phase. Each section of
windings is switched on for each direction
of magnetic field. Since in this
arrangement a magnetic pole can be
reversed without switching the direction of
Bipolar Motors
Bipolar motors have a single winding
per phase. The current in a winding
needs to be reversed in order to reverse
a magnetic pole.
Stepper Motor Control
o Driving a stepper motor requires
a 4 step switching sequence for
full-step mode
o Stepper motors can also be
driven in 8 step switching
sequence for half-step mode
(higher resolution)
o A new stepping mechanism is
called micro-stepping which
results in higher resolution but
need a special drive.
o Step sequence can be very fast,
the resulting motion appears to
be very smooth
Stepper Motor Control
Full Step Mode
o There are two modes of
Single phase full step
Dual phase full step
o In single phase excitation
only one phase is excited.
o In dual phase excitation two
phases are excited.
o Dual phase excitation
produce 40% more torque
and need higher power.
Stepper Motor Control
Half Step Mode
o First one phase is excited
o Then the excited phase and
the next phase are both
o Finally the previous phase is
o This sequence continues.
o This produce higher
Stepper Motor Control
Half Step Mode
o First one phase is excited
o Then the excited phase and
the next phase are both
o Finally the previous phase is
o This sequence continues.
o This produce higher
Brushless DC Motors
(Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors)
o Construction of BLDC motor is similar to
an AC induction motor.
o The stator is made out of laminated
steel stacked up to carry the windings.
o There are three phases wound in the
stator and connected in delta pattern
and star pattern.
o The armature is made of permanent
magnets and there can be 4-poles, 8-
poles or more.
o The underlying principles for the
working of a BLDC motor are the same
as for a brushed DC motor.
o The feedback is taken from Hall sensors
or optical encoders.
Brushless DC Motors
(Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors)
o Advantages
o No brushes and therefore no wearing parts
o Low inertia
o Can achieve higher speeds and higher speed range
o Excellent power to weight ratio
o Simple construction
o Virtually maintenance free
o Excellent thermal characteristics
o Disadvantages
o More complicated controller (ESC)
o Needs both speed and angle feedback
o For small to medium power (10W - 50kW)
Asynchronous AC motor
(Induction Motor)
o Stator is a wire wound stator. The stator can have
two poles, four poles or higher number of poles.
o Two types of rotors available
Wire wound rotors
Squirrel cage rotor
o AC power is supplied to the stator.
Current in the stator produce a
rotating magnetic field in the
o The rotating magnetic field
induces current in the rotor.
o Mechanical force is exerted
on the current carrying
conductor in the magnetic field.
Asynchronous AC motor
(Induction Motor)
o Advantages
No brushes hence no wearing parts
Virtually no maintenance
Constant torque over wide range of speeds
o Disadvantages
Speed control is difficult
Need complex controllers