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Rotary Servo Base Unit

Foundational modular control experiment

Control Systems & Dynamics Electromechanical Control

The Rotary Servo Base Unit is the fundamental element of the Quanser Rotary Control family. It is ideally suited to introduce basic control concepts and theories on an easy-to-use and intuitive platform. Use it on its own to perform several experiments or expand the scope of this unit by adding on other modules to teach an even wider range of control concepts. Instructors can thus expose students to a variety of rotary control challenges for a minimal investment. Real-world applications of the rotary servomotor include the autofocus feature in modern cameras, cruise control in automobiles, and servo actuation in aerospace.


Product Details

The Rotary Servo Base Unit is a geared servo-mechanism system. The plant consists of a DC motor in a solid aluminum frame. This DC motor drives the smaller pinion gear through an internal gear box. The pinion gear is fixed to a larger middle gear that rotates on the load shaft. The position of the load shaft can be measured using a high resolution optical encoder or a potentiometer. The encoder is also used to estimate the speed of the motor.

  • High-quality DC servo motor and gearbox
  • High-resolution optical encoder to sense position and estimate motor speed
  • Continuous turn potentiometer to sense position
  • Variable loads and gear ratios
  • Optional slip ring for continuous measurement from instrumented modules
  • Ten add-on modules available
Plant dimensions (L x W x H) 15 cm x 15 cm x 18 cm
Plant mass 1.2 kg
Motor nominal input voltage 6 V
Motor maximum continuous current (recommended) 1 A
Motor maximum speed (recommended) 6,000 RPM
Potentiometer bias power ±12 V
Potentiometer measurement range ±5 V
Encoder resolution (in quadrature) 4096 counts/rev
Modeling Topics
  • First-principles derivation
  • Experimental derivation
  • Transfer function representation
  • Frequency response representation
  • Model validation
Control Topics
  • PID
  • Lead Compensator

The following additional components are required to complete your workstation, and are sold separately:

For Simulink

  • QUARC® add-on for MATLAB®/Simulink®
  • Quanser VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier
  • One of the following DAQ devices:
    • Quanser Q2-USB
    • Quanser Q8-USB
    • Quanser QPIDe


  • Quanser Rapid Control Prototyping (Q-RCP) Toolkit® add-on for NI LabVIEW™
  • Quanser VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier
  • One of the following DAQ devices:
    • NI CompactRIO with Quanser Q1-cRIO
    • NI myRIO with Quanser Terminal Board
    • Quanser Q2-USB
    • Quanser Q8-USB
    • Quanser QPIDe

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