From Robotics

A potentiometer (or pot, for short) is a manually adjustable, variable resistor. It is commonly used for volume and tone controls in stereo equipment. On the RoboBoard a 10k pot is used as a contrast dial for the LCD screen, and the RoboKnob of the board is also a potentiometer.

In robotics, a potentiometer can be used as a position sensor. A rotary potentiometer (the most common type) can be used to measure the rotation of a shaft. Gears can be used to connect the rotation of the shaft being measured to the potentiometer shaft. It is easiest to use if the shaft being measured does not need to rotate continuously (like the second hand on a clock), but rather rotates back and forth (like the pendulum on a grandfather clock). Most potentiometers rotate only about 270 degrees; some can be rotated continuously, but the values are the same on each rotation. By using a gear ratio other than 1:1, the position of a shaft that rotates more than 270 degrees can be measured.

FIGURE 3.10 Potentiometer circuit

FIGURE 3.10   Potentiometer circuit.

FIGURE 3.11 Diodes

FIGURE 3.11   Diodes.

A potentiometer connected to a shaft and a lever can also be used to determine the distance to a...

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Products & Services
DC Motors
DC motors are most commonly used in variable speed and torque applications. They include brushless and gear motors, as well as servomotors.
Stepper Motors (rotary)
Stepper motors use a magnetic field to move a rotor in small angular steps or fractions of steps. They provide precise positioning and ease of use, especially in low acceleration or static load applications.
DC Servomotors
DC servomotors are generally small and powerful for their size, and easy to control. Common types of DC servomotors include brushless or gear motors.
Tactile Pressure Sensors
Tactile pressure sensors are used to detect the pressure distribution between a sensor and a target.
Capacitors are electronic components used for storing charge and energy. In their simplest form, capacitors consist of two conducting plates separated by an insulating material called the dielectric.

Topics of Interest

In electronics, a diode is a component that restricts the direction of movement of charge carriers. Essentially, it allows an electric current to flow in one direction, but blocks it in the opposite...

Overview Digital potentiometers (usually called a "pot" in electronics speak) are a solid-state replacement for mechanically adjustable variable resistors historically used for volume, balance and...

Resistor potentiometers can be found in electronic circuits across a wide spectrum of applications. Most typically, they function in a voltage divider configuration in order to execute various types...

This simple hook-up scheme allows controlling both motor shaft direction and speed from a single 5 kOhm potentiometer. With the pot in the center position, the motor shaft is energized but does not...

Without sensors, a robot is just a machine. Robots need sensors to deduce what is happening in their world and to be able to react to changing situations. This section introduces a variety of robotic...