Arduino is a trademark of the company providing one of the best single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits used for operating and coordinating digital devices. These microcontrollers are capable of simplifying tasks with linear actuators. Arduino produces both microcontrollers; digital and analogue. Meaning that they can be used for various equipment be it digital or analogue. An electronic linear actuator along with a microcontroller allows smart analysis with mechanical equipment, providing well-timed and efficient operation.

Thanks to their simplicity, linear actuators are being used more and more often and not only by large corporations. The reason is obvious – actuators and their microcontrollers are cheap but capable of performing important operations effectively and reliably. They are far more efficient at repetitive tasks than manual labor.

What is a Microcontroller

So, what are microcontrollers and how do they work.  Microcontrollers are circuit boards that connect a number of microprocessors to process a number of specific operations. Each microcontroller is pre-programmed to perform a specific duty, this simplifies production equipment; reduces excess computing capacity; thereby reducing physical size and cost; and simplifying implementation and maintenance.

Modern microcontrollers have their own operating systems, which are easily installed via USB. Some controllers can connect wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi which allows setup and data transfer remotely.

Microprocessors are not without their cons however, common issues include connection and programming difficulties or errors. Another aspect to take into account is the current load, which must be controlled carefully.  The Arduino, specifically, has two options; the first and simpler method is to control the current directly via a relay; the second method is to create a closed loop by using a 12v actuator also called a feedback actuator.

What You Will Need

For a relay you will need the following equipment:

  • two SPDT relay with Common (COM), Normally open (NO), Normally closed (NC) relay
  • junction or a jumper wire
  • the source of 12v Direct Current

The power supply must be connected to the relay with positive and ground pins lined up correctly.

Linear Actuators

Linear actuators controllers were created and designed by leaders in the automation industry to meet the demands of customers and provide a variety of additional control options above the ones already provided by electric linear actuators. The technology has become popular and widespread because of the efficient production it provides and the unnecessary extensive human physical work it is capable of replacing.

Microprocessors allow customers to combine the entire processing system onto a single miniaturised circuit. Connecting your linear actuator to such a system for remote control and integration with plant process opens a wide spectrum of possibilities.