Linear & Rotary Actuators
A linear actuator is an actuator that creates linear motion (as opposed to rotary motion, e.g. of an electric motor). The design of most linear actuators is quite simple, with a minimum of moving parts. They are self-contained, operate at high speeds and have identical behaviours for extending or retracting. By contrast, a rotary actuator is an actuator that produces a rotary motion or torque.
The simplest actuator is purely mechanical, where linear motion in one direction gives rise to rotation. The most common actuators though are electrically powered. Other actuators may be powered by pneumatic or hydraulic power, or may use energy stored internally through springs.
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