These days drones seem flying above all. As we are getting dependent directly or indirectly of the tremendous potential of these flying robots— detailed studying and intelligent approach to them will be fundamental.
The schematic figure above shows us the main components of a UAV and their connection. As we can see from the schematic figure actuators showed as one of the main internal body part of a drone. Here at this section we gonna discuss about actuators in a more detailed manner.
There’s no better product to illustrate the need to manage precise and constantly changing details than actuators—they make everything from pumps to motors to rocket ships move, and are in constant demand from a broad range of industrial manufacturers. Like:
- Drone manufacturing industries (Electrical actuators)
- Industrial automation by robots
- automotive industry
- Robotic surgery
- Smart cities and
- Alle areas where robots are used to automate things.
Multi-purpose actuators and servo-actuators can be used for a variety of high-performance applications and are standard building blocks used in a variety of systems.
MEMS for micro-electro-mechanical systems or microsystems technology (MST) according to European which are computer chips with moving parts are divided in to chips and sensors. MEMS is about making tiny sensors and actuators on integrated circuit chips it’s also about designing those types of sensors and actuators. MEMS have tremendous applications in the electronics world with nano scales. However in drones technology they used to incorporate some important sensors and actuators. For example Vibrating structure gyroscopes are commonly used in radio-controlled helicopters to help control the helicopter’s tail rotor and in radio-controlled airplanes to help keep the altitude steady during flight. They are also used in multirotor flight controllers, since multirotors aren’t aerodynamically stable and cannot stay airborne without electronic stabilization. There fore actuators are the main part in this system.
What are actuators anyway?
In it’s broadest sense, an actuator is anything that can convert a signal into a physical motion or force or they are types of motors that are responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism or system.
More figuratively, actuators corresponds with muscles in animal bodies. Energy is converted by the muscle into motion. For example, the calories that are in food that a person consumes represent controlled energy that can be used by his or her muscles — which act as actuators to create a controlled motion, such as running, kicking a ball, dancing, or reflexing for/againest something.
Generally actuators can be operated by a source of energy, typically electric current, bateries, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into motion. They are mechanisms by which their control systems act upon sorts of environments.
A drone actuator can comprise a DC motor, a gear train and control electronics governed by microprocessors with integrated position feedback. These are electromechanical servo units that precisely position a radial output drive.
According to wikipedia an actuator can be a simple system (a fixed mechanical or electronic system), software-based (e.g. a printer driver, robot control system), a human, or any other input.
From all the above definitions so far actuators as parts of drones receiving electrical data signals from drone’s sensors and producing some motions by converting the energy from its source into mechanical motion in responses with the electrical data signal that they received and triggered by and some parts of this motion in turn acts as a control for a drone’s systems.
The possible motions by actuators
Actuators can create a linear motion, rotary motion or oscillatory motion. That is, they can create motion in one direction, in a circular motion or in opposite directions at regular intervals.
Mostly actuators are classified according to the energy source they use.
Hydraulic: they are used in large robots which require speed when executing repetitive tasks, as well as great stability and mechanical strength for heavy loads. These actuators are classified as hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic motors and hydraulic valves.
Pneumatic: used in small-sized robots and actuator mechanisms that generally require two states. Pneumatic actuators can be broken down into pneumatic cylinders and pneumatic motors.
Electrical: they are the most appropriate for robots that do not require great speed or power, but which do require accuracy and repetitiveness, as is the case of industrial robotics. Their use in this sector is particularly interesting due to their simple installation, ease of control and reliability. Electrical actuators are classified as direct current motors or servomotors, alternate current motors, and step motors.
A servomotor provides more intelligence and features than a simple cc motor, so they are widely used in robotics. A servomotor conventionally consists of a motor, gears, an encoder and a control circuit.
Electric motors controllers can control the speed, the position or the torque of a motor providing electrical power and adequate signal. Since there are different types of electric motors, there are also different types of controllers. Pay attention to the type of controller, the expected features and motor power before buying them.
Aerial robots, or drones, have gear motors that drive the rotational motion of the propellers, conferring flight stability to the robot. They can record images or take photographs through cameras that move linearly, powered by electric actuators.