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Best of Make: Volume 2 by The Editors of Make:

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SERVOMOTORS

Beef up on robotic musculature.

By Tod E. Kurt

You’ve seen them in robots and toys, or at least heard the distinctive zzt-zzt-zzt sound that accompanies their movement. R/C servomotors, designed for use in radio-controlled hobby cars and planes, are a common tool for robotics, movie effects, and puppeteering.

Servos don’t spin like normal motors, but instead rotate and stop at a commanded position between 0 and 180 degrees. They’re one of the easiest ways to add motion to a project, and there are many different kinds of servos to choose from.

Servos can also be hacked to create high- quality, digitally controlled, variable-speed gearmotors, with a few simple modifications. In this article I’ll explain the basics of how to use servos, ...

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