AskDefine | Define actuator

Dictionary Definition

actuator n : a mechanism that puts something into automatic action

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Something that actuates something else, especially a mechanism that causes a device to be switched on or off
    • The mind is the actuator of the body
  2. The mechanism that moves the head assembly on a disk drive
  3. (electrical) A relay that controls the flow of electricity


Something that actuates something else
The mechanism that moves the head assembly on a disk drive
A relay that controls the flow of electricity


Extensive Definition

An actuator is a mechanical device for moving or controlling a mechanism or system.

Examples and applications

Examples include:
  • Motors are mostly used when circular motions are needed, but can also be used for linear applications by transforming circular to linear motion with a bolt and screw transducer. On the other hand, some actuators are intrinsically linear, such as piezoelectric actuators.
  • In virtual instrumentation actuators and sensors are the hardware complements of virtual instruments. Computer programs of virtual instruments use actuators to act upon real world objects.
Magnetic Actuator


actuator in Afrikaans: Aktueerder
actuator in Catalan: Actuador
actuator in German: Aktor
actuator in Estonian: Täitur
actuator in Spanish: Actuador
actuator in French: Actionneur
actuator in Indonesian: Aktuator
actuator in Italian: Attuatore
actuator in Dutch: Actuator
actuator in Japanese: アクチュエータ
actuator in Polish: Urządzenie wykonawcze
actuator in Portuguese: Atuador
actuator in Russian: Исполнительное устройство
actuator in Chinese: 致動器
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