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Sensors, Actuators, and Robotics » Robotic arm with constant force

April 15, 2012
by mcgroover
mcgroover's Avatar

Hi,

I am looking to create a project that pushes an arm against another object with a constant force. I originally thought I could just use a DC motor and have the gear held steady against something and vary the force by varying the current to the motor. However, I think the motor might overheat if I do it this way. Is this correct and if so, does anyone have any ideas of how this can be accomplished?

Thanks for your help!

April 15, 2012
by pcbolt
pcbolt's Avatar

It would depend on the motor and load of course, but a motor can be chosen for the designed expected loads. It will heat up with more current draw but you could sink the heat if needed. You could try using pulse width modulation to control the current, but having a force repelling the turn of the motor will make it much more difficult to control especially if you want a steady state condition in the end. You might look into hobby hydraulics systems. Some are a little pricey but you might find something to suit your needs.

April 16, 2012
by mcgroover
mcgroover's Avatar

Thanks for the reply!

While searching for hobby hydraulics, I found some linear actuators and they are pricey! Do you think these might be suitable as well?

April 16, 2012
by pcbolt
pcbolt's Avatar

Yeah, linear actuators are pretty steep, mostly because they are used in precision engineering. But! They don't have to be...check This video out.

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