An actuator is a device that produces a motion by converting energy and signals going into the system. The motion it produces can be either rotary or linear. Linear actuators produce linear motion. Meaning they can move forward or backwards on a set linear plane. Rotary actuators on the other hand produce rotary motion, meaning that the actuator revolves on a circular plane. Unlike linear actuators, rotary actuators are not limited by a set path; it can keep rotating in the same direction for as long as necessary.
An actuator requires a control signal and a source of energy, typically electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into motion.
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