September 13, 2019

4 popular servo motor applications

Servo motors are relied on far and wide for controlled linear or angular motion. They are deployed in systems we interact with every day as well as more specialized mechanical systems. Typically working with a positional feedback device, such as an encoder or resolver, servo motors also require a control to communicate back and forth to the user; these parts are available separately to match end users’ specialized applications, or in integrated designs off the shelf.

Why servo motors are used

gears of a HEIDENHAIN servo motorThese motors can vary in design to run almost constantly in a single direction or to have highly precise feedback that knows the motor’s location at every moment. This makes this style of motor adaptable and functional enough to fit in all sorts of systems and environments, both physically and performance-wise. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular servo motor applications, some you are probably familiar with and others you may not have thought of yet.

Cameras, telescopes and antennas

Whether it’s finding a radio signal, capturing images of a galaxy light-years away or a subject in the studio, servo motors often play critical roles in focusing the equipment used to accomplish these things. These are good examples of how servo motors can be useful in both precision, and linear and rotary applications.

Elevator technology

Safety is the name of the game when designers plan and build building transportation systems. Elevators commonly use servo motors to safely and smoothly move passengers in some of the world’s tallest buildings. You can learn more about how some of our feedback and control systems have been redesigned specifically for integration in elevator applications here.


Robots are all the rage, and their practical applications seemingly increase by the day. Nearly all robot designs use servo motors because of their efficient and variable size, force density and precision. These robot applications can range all the way from controlling the stopping, starting and speed of bomb detonation or unmanned firefighting vehicles to the joints of robotic arms.

Industrial production

Manufacturers are aggressively developing robotic solutions to reduce the chances for human error and speed up processes. These include arms that require precise movement and angular positioning to weld and/or move materials short distances all the way to pick-and-place robots that may carry cargo from one side of a plant to the other. All of them commonly use servo motors to control movement or rotation in environments that can often be extreme or dangerous.

It doesn’t stop there. Servo motors’ precision and power are key factors in fabrication machines that bend or cut sheets of metal and milling machines that cut more dense parts of metals or ones that require extreme power and speed to manipulate. Servo motors are also found in the spinning elements of conveyor systems that are popular in bottling, packaging, textile and printing.


Why use servo motors? The answer is becoming clearer by the day: as technology advances, more and more unmanned systems require reliable power, precision and speed. With more feedback and control variety available than ever, the servo motor’s time-tested design and performance is more effective and applicable than ever.

If you want to take a deeper dive on this, or any other motion control topic, we make our experts available. Schedule a consultation now to start finding specific solutions to your challenges.