Project: Rotary Encoder & Servo

Can we control a servo with a rotary encoder? Can we make it turn in the same direction as we turn the rotary encoder? What could we attach to the servo arm? Perhaps use this to control a crane or fork lift? Can it be attached to some lego to make something interesting?

Step 1: Set up the rotary encoder. Review Micro:bit Rotary Encoder and connect up the hardware. Run the test code to make sure the encoder is working.

Step 2: Can you turn this code into a function? Sit in the loop and call a function checkEncoder(), which will report back the direction (if any) it is being turned. Perhaps return 0 for stationary, 1 for turning clockwise and 2 for turning anti-clockwise. Consider returning two values to also report the state of the button.

Step 4: Connect the servo. Follow Micro:bit SG09 Servo and test the servo. Note, both examples use pin0 so you will have to make adjustments.

Step 5: Can you turn the servo in the same direction as the rotary encoder? You may need to write a function to tell the servo to move by X number of degrees. Try playing with different values for X and different sensitivities to control how fast the encoder turns the servo. Don’t forget to make sure you do not try to turn the servo beyond it’s limits.

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