Rotary encoder

A rotary encoder, also called a shaft encoder, is an electro-mechanical device that converts the angular position or motion of a shaft or axle to analog or digital output signals.[1]

A Gray code absolute rotary encoder with 13 tracks. At the top, the housing, interrupter disk, and light source can be seen; at the bottom the sensing element and support components.

There are two main types of rotary encoder: absolute and incremental. The output of an absolute encoder indicates the current shaft position, making it an angle transducer. The output of an incremental encoder provides information about the motion of the shaft, which typically is processed elsewhere into information such as position, speed and distance.

Rotary encoders are used in a wide range of applications that require monitoring or control, or both, of mechanical systems, including industrial controls, robotics, photographic lenses,[2] computer input devices such as optomechanical mice and trackballs, controlled stress rheometers, and rotating radar platforms.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Rotary encoder, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.