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Servo Systems

Servo is mechanism based on

feedback control.

The controlled quantity is

Jussi Suomela HUT/Automation 1
Closed Loop Control
Your Partner In Productivity

• Controller is the “Brain”

• Drive is the “Muscle”
• Feedback Transducer is the “Eyes”

Motion Mechanical
Command Drive or Motion
Controller Amplifier
Input Output

Servo systems are “Closed Loop” in design
Your Partner In Productivity control


• Uses feedback for automatic correction control

• High performance

Width of material
must be very
precisely controlled
Example - Closed Loop Control System

Reducer Load

Power Ballscrew

AC/DC Position IMC S

Velocity Servo Loop
Loop Class

0 to ±10V
Servo Control of an Electrical

Three feedback lops


Jussi Suomela HUT/Automation 5

Properties of Servo Systems
l high maximum torque/force allows high (de)acceleration

l high zero speed torque/force

l high bandwidth provides accurate and fast control

l robustness

Servo Systems are

not servos

Jussi Suomela HUT/Automation 6

How to design good Servo Systems?
 Terminology:
 Do not confuse “servos” with “servo motors”
 DC motors (brushed or brushless) are also sometimes also referred to as
“servo motors”
 See:

 “So when does a motor become a servo motor?

 There are certain design criteria that are desired when building a
servo motor, which enable the motor to more adequately handle
the demands placed on a closed loop system.

 First of all, servo systems need to rapidly respond to changes in

speed and position, which require high acceleration and
deceleration rates.

 This calls for extremely high intermittent torque.

Intermittent Torque in Servos
Torque is related to current in the brushed servo motor.

So the designers need to keep in mind the ability of the

motor to handle short bursts of very high current, which
can be many times greater than the continuous current

Another key characteristic of the brushed servo motor is

a high ratio of torque to inertia.
This ratio is an important factor in determining motor

Further, servo motors need to respond to small changes

in the control signal.
So the design requires reaction to small voltage variations.
Hobby radio-controlled servos

Small Servos (servo-motors) for small

Positioning applications:
Three-wire interface of standard
PWM control of Servos
Pulse length controls the angle of the shaft rotation

Pulse between 0.6 ms and 2.0 ms

Speed Control PWM is not the
same as the Servo PWM
Single pulse width


What to remember when you write software to control?

Writing software, take into account

mechanical constraints
“Winch servo” and how to
convert from standard servo
Pneumatic & Hydraulic Actuators
1. Large manipulators in industry frequently employ hydraulic drives,
• since such drives provide a higher torque-to-weight ratio than electric motors

2. However, because of the maintenance problems associated with

pressurized oil (including leaks), hydraulic motors are not used in
smaller mobile robots

3. Pneumatic drives have been used as actuators in the past but are not
currently popular

4. Air is compressible, resulting in nonlinear behavior of the actuator