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DC Motors with a built in feedback system, either potentiometer, encoder, other.
QuoteDC Motors with a built in feedback system, either potentiometer, encoder, other.What do you think a servo is? ;-)There are only so many ways of developing force that can be well controlled. Rotary motors, linear motors/solenoids, pneumatics, heat contraction wire, hydraulics, and direct electromagnetics are the main ones I can think of. Combustion engines are not great, because there's no good/immediate/robust way to directly control the amount of torque/force per-joint. (Slip couplings wear out, throttle response is sluggish, etc.) I guess you could use them for driving the compression in a pneumatic or hydraulic system...Given those constraints, DC motor based servos are the best trade-off. Even so, there's a big difference between a $5 Chinese analog hobby servo, and a $500 robot servo like a Dynamixel EX-106. The robot specific servos (Dynamixel, Herculex, some specific HiTecs) are much better, having idlers on the back, digital feedback systems, etc.
I have various dynamixel servos in the passed and have had very good experiences with them just remember that they use half-duplexed communication instead of the traditional PWM signals. This way you can get feedback from them.~Idan
Unless you're building a human-sized biped (>4 ft high, or so), you're going to use servos.Are you planning a humanoid biped or just the legs?