RC servos are used to provide actuation for various mechanical systems such as the steering of a car, the control surfaces on a plane, or the rudder of a boat. Due to their affordability, reliability, and simplicity of control by microprocessors, they are often used in small-scale robotics applications. A standard RC receiver (or a microcontroller) sends pulse-width modulation (PWM) signals to the servo. The electronics inside the servo translate the width of the pulse into a position. When the servo is commanded to rotate, the motor is powered until the potentiometer reaches the value corresponding to the commanded position.
What is commonly referred to as microstepping is often sine–cosine microstepping in which the winding current approximates a sinusoidal AC waveform. Sine–cosine microstepping is the most common form, but other waveforms can be used. Regardless of the waveform used, as the microsteps become smaller, motor operation becomes more smooth, thereby greatly reducing resonance in any parts the motor may be connected to, as well as the motor itself. Resolution will be limited by the mechanical stiction, backlash, and other sources of error between the motor and the end device. Gear reducers may be used to increase resolution of positioning.
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