Hi I know this might sound like dumb question but I've just ran into a problem on a design project. I have no real training or experience with EE or mechatronics and any help is greatly appreciation.

I currently am modifying a robot and am trying to add on additional actuators. My main question is do I have to use the current circuit setup (DC) or can I convert it to an AC current. Also if I can convert it to AC will I have to use all new hardware or would the current hardware be fine.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please be more specific, there is not enough information to answer your question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Aug 29, 2016 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ so I have a gas power engine driving a DC generator for power. it's a hydrostatic drive. would it be possible to pull out the DC generator and replace it with an ac to power the additional actuators on it. I don't know what the chipset is on it. I can look that up tomorrow if you need it. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2016 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanLogan: please read the datasheet for each device and look at the supply requirements. Why and where we use AC and DC is something your going to have to understand to do any basic electronics or even electrical work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Aug 30, 2016 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanLogan AC runs current forward and backward and voltage positive and negative. Bad things happen to computers when you run their voltage backward. They have converters to convert AC to DC. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Aug 30, 2016 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


Your supply has to match the actuators.

  • If the actuators are DC they will need DC. If they're AC they'll need AC.
  • The supply voltage will have to match the actuator voltage.
  • The supply current rating will have to match or exceed the peak current to be drawn by your circuit.

Your question is hopelessly under-defined to be any more specific than that. If you require more information you need to supply part numbers, links to datasheets and, possibly, schematic diagrams.


If for say you have a DC powered robot, and the motors are AC based. You can use an appropriate VFD (variable frequency device) to the ac motorr where you can go forward, backwards, and a power stop (generating power from momentum from rotating wheels)

With my Arduino PLC Board (or known as programmable logic controller) circuit board. I can program what stator magnetic fields activate and which ones do not so i can spin the motor while using DC, but i am driving an "AC" motor with the PLC (even though it is mainly DC since DC is the power source and AC is motor that was made by the PLC. helping it to convert some type of current into another)

Or if your robot is powered by steam and you are to "rectify" or cut the AC power wavelengths into a singular, one directed current that can drive DC motors, that too is possible. To receive more power, use the "H" bridge method if your AC generator is two phase.

You can also think about converting AC generator to AC motor by altering ones frequencies with a rectifier, then a VFD to alter the AC motor's speed. This is to be known as controlling the power and frequency made by the AC generator. The field is open, and it is yours of however it is you make it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ok that gives me some ideas thanks. like I said I'm really new at this and am trying to find a good starting point \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2016 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its alright, i too was new into electronics. If you run into something a bit complex, this is the best place for it! :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2016 at 16:35

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