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Vastly improved servo control, now no need for motor surgery


Hobby servos are great, but they are not suitable for robotic applications in many ways.the good news is [Adam] brings the latest version of his ServoProject, offering off-the-shelf servos with industrial-style motion control to allow for tighter motion tracking than otherwise restricted.

Modifying a servo no longer requires opening the internal DC motor.

The PID control system in a typical hobby servo is very good at two things: moving to a new position quickly, and maintaining that position. The system isn’t very good at smoothing motion, which is ideal for robotics and more precise motion tracking.

[Adam] Efforts have been made to replace PID control with a more powerful cascade-based control scheme that can even compensate for gearbox backlash by monitoring output shaft and motor position separately. The real innovation of the latest version is that surgery on the DC motor is no longer required when retrofitting a servo; the necessary sensing is now done externally. Check out the build instructions for details.

The video (embedded below) briefly demonstrates the performance of the modified servos compared to the stock servos and details the modifications involved. Careful assembly is still required, but unlike previous versions, there is no need to actually open and modify the DC motor, which is a big step forward.



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