Different Types of Motors Used In Robotics

Types of Motors Used In Robotics


Do you want to get a quick rundown of the different types of motors used in robotics for your next project? If the answer is yes! then this blog post is for you to learn about AC Motors, Brushed and Brushless DC Motors, Geared DC Motors, Servo Motors, and Stepper Motors, and the unique characteristics that set them apart. Discover the right motor for your application and take the first step towards efficient and effective motion control. Don't miss out on this comprehensive guide to motors.

Robots with electric drives typically have superior precision and repeatability. As a result, electric robots are more compact, have less floor space and are more frequently used for precision tasks like assembly. An electric current generates electricity in this system. It operates quietly and requires little maintenance.



Types of Motors Used In Robotics


Electric motors are devices that use electricity to move objects mechanically. It can be divided into two types: DC (Direct Current) and AC (Alternating Current). There are various varieties within these categories, and each one has specific skills that make them ideal for use. DC motors are commonly used in robotic applications instead of AC motors because AC motors require alternating current to operate and controlling AC motors is much more challenging. The use of AC motors is limited to situations where there is a need for high initial torque. The following factors must be taken into consideration when choosing a motor, torque, voltage, speed, accuracy, power factor, and motor size. 


The industry offers a wide variety of motor types. Certain motor types are frequently employed in robotic applications.


In this article, we take a look at the six main types of motors used in robotics

  1. AC motor 
  2. Brushed DC motor 
  3. Brushless DC motor 
  4. Geared DC motor 
  5. Servo motor 
  6. Stepper motor 

1. AC Motor

Robots rarely use alternating current (AC) motors since most of them are powered by direct current (DC) from batteries. Additionally, as DC is the preferred power source for electronic components, it is more practical to use it for actuators as well. In industrial settings where extremely high torque is required or if the motors are linked to the mains or a wall outlet, AC motors are typically employed.


AC motor

2. Brushed DC Motor

Even though a brushless motor may run straight off a DC rail, there are benefits to utilizing a "real" driver component to supply both the necessary driving current and the many protection functions that are needed by all motor subsystems.


Brushed DC Motor


Experts like Charles Steinmetz spent a great deal of time on DC motor theory and practice because of the significant contribution medium and large BDC motors made to industrial and technical advancements in the 20th century. The performance parameters (speed, torque, control, and efficiency), design, fabrication, and practical issues were all covered in detail, as were the electromotive force, magnetic field, and circuit equations. For many years, all engineering programmers required courses in DC motor theory and application. These courses included extensive, practical lab sessions using both small and big DC motors. The advantages of this motor are a simple control application as compared to a brushless dc because power developed by a brushless looks like an AC motor.

3. Brushless DC Motor 

Typical BLDC motors require complex electronic control circuitry as well as a method for monitoring the rotor position continually. A Hall Effect sensor or monitoring variations in the Back ­EMF at each armature coil as the motor rotates can both be used to identify the position of the rotor. While the applied voltage determines the speed of brushed DC motors, the PWM duty cycle determines the speed of BLDC motors; an increase in the duty cycle has the same impact as an increase in voltage. So, this motor is used only where there is the highest efficiency, smooth operation and low nose may it is by mechanical or electrical.


Brushless DC motor

4. Geared DC Motor

One of the most common components in robotics is the geared DC motor. Therefore, having a high-quality DC Motor is essential. The torque and speed changeable of the DC gear motor, in addition to the use of batteries to aid movement, are what makes it so well suited for robotic applications. A DC motor's ability to deliver a variety of variable speeds—an enormous range below or above the stated speed—is its perfect attribute. A DC motor can be speed-controlled because the supply voltage and motor speed are inversely related. You can alter the speed by altering the supply voltage. Additionally, the relationship between the motor's speed and magnetic flux is inverse because of the issue with field winding. The speed of the motor can be altered by adjusting the armature voltage and impedance.


Geared DC motor

5. Servo Motor

The stator and rotor windings of the servo motor are wound on the stationary portion of the motor and the rotating portion of the motor, respectively. This motor uses less electricity, is very efficient, and requires little maintenance. The servo motor is fed by the driver amplifier, which receives velocity commands from the controller. Information on the position and speed of the servo motor is provided by some type of feedback device, such as a resolver or encoder. The resolver or encoder may be built within the motor or may be placed elsewhere. A servo motor can run with a particular motion profile that is programmed into the controller due to the closed-loop system.


Servo motor

6. Stepper Motor 

The rotation is divided into several steps by a stepper motor. A stepper motor rotates by a predetermined number of angular steps, like how a servo motor rotates by a present angle. The motor's rotation is divided up into tiny angular increments, and it can run with or without feedback. It can stop exactly at a command point without the use of brakes or clutch assemblies since it is driven by pulsed command signals. A permanent-magnet stepper motor often holds its last position when the power is turned off.


Stepper motor



In this blog post, we have learnt that the abundance of motor options can be downright bewildering! It's a veritable smorgasbord of electric propulsion. Need efficiency? AC motors are your ticket to the energy-saving ride. Prefer simplicity? Brushed DC motors will keep things straightforward for you. Is power a priority? Brushless DC motors pack a punch. Require precision? Geared DC motors got you covered. Accuracy is your calling. Step right up to the servo motor. Seeking versatility? Stepper motors are the shape-shifters of the motor world. With this comprehensive guide to the various motors utilized in robotics, you now possess the capacity to make a well-informed choice and uncover the ideal motor to fulfil your needs!


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is AC motor and its types?

An AC motor, or Alternating Current motor, is an electrically powered device that operates on, wait for it, alternating current! Who would have thought? Now, within the AC motor family, there are two primary categories that stand out: Induction Motors and Synchronous Motors. The former, Induction Motors, is a common household name in the world of AC motors, known for its widespread use in industrial and domestic settings. Meanwhile, Synchronous Motors are the sophisticated rebels of the AC motor universe, utilizing their high-precision speed control and constant velocity capabilities for the most demanding applications. Ultimately, the type of AC motor used is dependent on the task at hand and the desired outcome.

2. Where are brushed DC motors used?

Brushed DC motors are widely used in a variety of applications, ranging from small toys to heavy industrial equipment. They are commonly found in automotive systems such as power windows, power steering and windshield wipers. Additionally, they are used in power tools, appliances, medical equipment, and robotic systems. Brushed DC motors offer simple control, low cost and reliable operation making them a popular choice for many industries.

3. What is meant by brushless DC motor?

A brushless DC motor, also known as a BLDC, is a type of electric motor that uses permanent magnets and electronic commutation instead of brushes and mechanical commutation to control the movement of the rotor. This results in a more efficient, reliable and durable motor compared to traditional DC motors. Brushless DC motors are widely used in high-end applications such as drones, robotics, and electric vehicles.

4. What is geared DC motor?

A geared DC motor is an electrifying device that is not just any ordinary motor, It harnesses the power of gears to crank up the torque and dial down the speed. With its intricate composition of a DC motor, a gear assembly and a feedback mechanism, either an encoder or a feedback device, it brings together the best of both worlds. The gears magnify the torque output of the DC motor, giving you unparalleled control over speed and precision positioning. Such precision is why geared DC motors are sought after in applications like automation, material handling and the robotic realm.

5. What is a servo motor used for?

A servo motor is a type of motor that is used for precise control of angular or linear position, velocity and acceleration. It typically consists of a DC motor, gears, a sensor for position feedback, and a control circuit. Servo motors are commonly used in applications such as robotics, CNC machines, and automation systems due to their high accuracy, speed and responsiveness. They are also commonly used in hobbyist projects, such as remote-controlled cars, planes and boats.

6. Why it is called stepper motor?

A stepper motor is called so because it moves in small, distinct steps rather than continuous rotation. It is an electrical motor that moves in precise increments, or steps, by energizing the coils in a specific sequence. This makes it an ideal choice for applications requiring precise position control, such as printers, robots, and CNC machines.

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