Can a stepper motor be used to simulate a weight?

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Can a stepper motor be used to simulate a weight?

Yes, but the cord needs to be slightly elastic. You can then simulate the force of a static hanging weight using F=mg=kx, where m is the mass you want to simulate; k is the spring constant of the cord; and x is the extension of the cord - the variable that you control using by having the stepper motor wind the cord onto a spool. You can also simulate a dynamic weight by modelling other equations of motion.

The tricky part however, is if the other end of the cord is attached to some dynamic system (which I assume it is), you'll need to sense position of the cord to feed into the equations.

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