Firgelli actuator control w/ flex sensor input

Hello,

I'm relatively new to arduino and control systems and need some help with a system setup or maybe someone can answer whether it's even possible to do with an arduino. I want to use a flex sensor variable resistance input to the arduino then have the arduino output a signal to control a Firgello actuator. I know how to wire up the flex sensor with a voltage divider to the arduino but how would I control the extend/retract of the actuator? H bridge?

The end goal of this system is to have the flex sensor straight and the actuator retracted. Then as you bend the sensor it extends the actuator given a relationship between bend resistance and actuator position. Possible?

Entirely possible. It sounds to me that you're going to need a sensor to tell you the position of the actuator. Your simplest option is to purchase the actuator with the I option or R option, then the sensor and a servo controller are built in you just need to feed the servo a control signal. If you do decide to purchase a basic actuator without controller, then an H-bridge would be an appropriate means to drive it.

Quad450x: Hello,

I'm relatively new to arduino and control systems and need some help with a system setup or maybe someone can answer whether it's even possible to do with an arduino. I want to use a flex sensor variable resistance input to the arduino then have the arduino output a signal to control a Firgello actuator. I know how to wire up the flex sensor with a voltage divider to the arduino but how would I control the extend/retract of the actuator? H bridge?

The end goal of this system is to have the flex sensor straight and the actuator retracted. Then as you bend the sensor it extends the actuator given a relationship between bend resistance and actuator position. Possible?

since you're using a flex sensor, why don't you just use a less expensive actuator and an h-bridge. aren't the firgelli actuators claim to fame the fact that they have positional feedback?

if you already have a firgelli actuator with positional feedback. then it seems you'd only need this board to interface with: http://store.firgelli.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=LAC

if you get the model with the 'p' designation then it seems to have an analog position signal (http://www.firgelli.com/Uploads/L12_datasheet.pdf) that you could use instead of the flex sensor. Have the h-bridge control the direction/speed of the actuator. have the arduino monitor the analog output from the actuator and stop it at the desired position. (maybe use the pid library)

Thanks for your help! There were actuators with and w/o a positional sensor so it was a decision of which way to go. I didn't see that linear control board though! That is a great find and I'll be surely getting one of those!

Thanks again and I'll throw up some photos of the finished product here in a few weeks!

Quad450x: Thanks for your help! There were actuators with and w/o a positional sensor so it was a decision of which way to go. I didn't see that linear control board though! That is a great find and I'll be surely getting one of those!

Thanks again and I'll throw up some photos of the finished product here in a few weeks!

if you're def. going the arduino route then i'd probably opt for the actuator with the analog output and bypass the firgelli control board.

Yeah, I'm just going to use the Arduino for now until I get more comfortable with programming and electronic integration. I've got some friends already pushing me towards a more powerful controller but for now the Arduino.

I'll update back once I've got both projects working.

Thanks again for your help.