A servo drive is an electronic amplifier used in servomechanisms to regulate the current/voltage output to the motor. Servo drives are part of a continuous feedback loop between a sensor (or multiple sensors) monitoring the motor and the motion controller, receiving low-voltage commands from the controller, and amplifying them to achieve a given result.

Although the principal role of a servo drive is to control the motor dependent servo loop, different protocols apply to different mechanical systems.

What is a Servo Drive?

Servo Drive and Servo Motor combination

Different Servomechanism Control Configurations

Standalone axes that are not precisely coordinated with other axes often utilise a loosely coupled distributed control configuration in which the servo drive carries out path planning, as well as the position and velocity control loops. This reduces the computational strain on the master controller and allows for a faster network.

Closely integrated networks of coordinated axes with load-dependent servo loops and dynamic loads that change in real-time require a tighter coupling, either as a distributed or a centralized control network. Tightly coupled configurations are required for high-performance systems. Distributed control networks give path planning tasks to the master, while centralized controls limit servo drive tasks to current control alone.

Where are Servo Drives Used?

Servo Drives for Exoskeleton Robotics

Ultra-small servo drives with high power density provide the low-profile necessary for OEMs working on innovative exoskeletons for biomedical, industrial, or military applications. These wearable solutions require tight integration with good standby power consumption and minimal heat generation while maintaining high performance to meet critical KPIs in the growing exoskeleton market.

Servo Drives for Industrial Robotics

Process automation has proven vital to ongoing profitability in industrial sectors, with robotics assemblies changing the face of the production line forever. These multi-axis robotic systems require tight integration and optimized heat dissipation. Ultra-precise servo drives are essential components throughout the industrial robotics sector – delivering the highest performance and efficiency while limiting energy loss through heat dissipation for overall system optimization.

Servo Drives for Radar Antennas

Radar antenna applications including airborne mobile Satcom antenna systems, and radar turntables, rely on extremely accurate and highly stable motion controllers to ensure continuous target tracking and/or satellite image locking. Servo drives designed for high-speed broadband applications are engineered for high performance in harsh environmental conditions, ensuring continued operation in extended temperature ranges, extreme mechanical/thermal shock and vibration.

Servo Drives for Robotics Surgery

Miniature, lightweight, high-performance servo drives are central to the ongoing revolution in surgical robotics, providing the means for conducting surgical procedures that mitigate risks to patients. Low latency, ultra-small servo drives allow robotic systems to be precise, compact, and efficient. The low latency and lag results in instant replication from the surgeon’s console to the surgical robot, delivering the precision needed for success.

Servo Drives for UVD Robots

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) used for disinfection purposes are now commonly referred to as UVD robots. Optimal power efficiency and proper battery management directly translates to an increased operation life expectancy of the vehicle. Allowing UVD robots to operate for longer periods uninterrupted can dramatically accelerate disinfection processes. Servo drives with optimal power efficiencies and proper battery management are important requirements of UVD robots.

Interested in Celera Motion Servo Drives?

Celera Motion is committed to delivering rapid and reliable motion control solutions for a large variety of market segments and applications. Our precision components include a range of servo drives, suitable for the most demanding operating conditions in modern industry. Interested in more information? Contact a member of the team today.