Why Are Servo Motors Used So Widely in Robotics?

Servo motors will always come up when the topics of robotics and automation are discussed. Servo motors are useful in applications where precise positioning, power, and torque are required.

Almost all industries have some form of automation and robotics used in different processes, with robotics especially having lots of advantages and applications. But why do servo motors fit these applications so well, and why are they so widely used?

Different Servo Motors for Different Applications

Regardless of what you want to use robotics for, you will always find a servo motor that fits the application. Servo motors come in different shapes and sizes.

Servo motors also vary in power and torque. Larger servos for use in larger applications such as assembly lines have a higher torque. Those used in lighter applications such as packaging often have a lower torque.

Expense

Expense is a variable that has to be controlled very carefully in industrial processes. For a robotic arm, which is the most common type of robotic application in these processes, at least five servo motors are required. These give the robotic arms the required range of motions, with more added if additional range of motion is required.

To keep the cost of these robotic arms down, companies have to use affordable and cost-effective options and servo motors fit perfectly.

Ease of Use

Complexity is something many companies want to avoid in their industrial applications. When building robotic arms and in other applications, you want to keep things as simple as possible. Stepper motors have been the standard when building robotic arms for a long time.

Their main downside is that they require external controllers and microcontrollers. These introduce complexity in setting up, controlling, and managing them, which gets complicated when you need to control at least five of them for a single robotic arm.

Servo motors only require a voltage and Pulse-Width-Modulation for control. There is no motor control to deal with, and you only have to connect three wires compared to the six for stepper motors.

Availability

Servo motors are readily available, with most retailers who stock industrial parts selling them. This is a huge advantage for businesses that are looking for a solution that will not frustrate them when trying to find replacement parts.

Not being able to find replacement parts in a manufacturing process can be very stressful, cost a business money and lead to reputation damage if the business cannot deliver.

Weight

You don’t want robotics or robot arms that weigh more than they should. Heavier robotics can cause issues during maintenance and can even topple during use.

Servo motors are a lot lighter than stepper motors. The lower weight gives robotics and robot arms more flexibility and ensures balance when they are moving around.

Precision

Servo motors are very precise in their movement which makes them a great option for applications with tight tolerances. In addition, they can perform the same movements and maneuvers continuously with little variance.

Although other solutions like stepper motors exist, servo motors have become a popular choice in industrial applications due to their many benefits. With their many applications, businesses can find ways to take full advantage of their features and benefits.

Main image by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

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