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Investigation into soft-start techniques for driving servos

Authors
Journal
Mechatronics
0957-4158
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
24
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.mechatronics.2013.11.014
Keywords
  • Servo Control
  • Soft Start
  • Voltage Profiling
  • Servo
  • Motor Control

Abstract

Abstract Servos (as commonly used in radio controlled vehicles and small scale robotics) are DC actuators which use a potentiometer to provide built-in feedback to localise an actuator arm. To minimise jerky control movements, many servo controllers include velocity and acceleration control which operate using a defined velocity profile resulting in the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control value being changed over time. On power-up the initial position of the servo arm is unknown to external controller—resulting in the arm moving to the starting value at maximum speed (which may be mechanically hazardous). In this paper two different techniques for performing a soft-start for servos are described and evaluated, namely: voltage profiling and intermittent drive. The different techniques are implemented and evaluated using four different servos based on measured velocity profiles, current consumption, and peak torque.

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