Torque, also known as moment of force, is a measure of the rotational force applied to an object. It is defined as the product of the force applied to an object and the distance from the object's axis of rotation to the point where the force is applied. Torque is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction.

Torque is often represented by the symbol "τ" (tau) and is calculated by the following equation

[τ=Fd][\tau = Fd]


  • τ (tau) is the torque, measured in newton meters (N·m)

  • F is the force applied to the object, measured in newtons (N)

  • d is the distance from the axis of rotation to the point where the force is applied, measured in meters (m)

Torque is an important concept in mechanics, as it is used to measure the ability of an object to rotate around an axis. It is a fundamental principle in the operation of machines, such as motors, gears, and levers, which use torque to transmit power and motion.

In robotics, the most common way that torque is important is anything relating to motors. In a drive train, torque is needed to accelerate quickly, hold a top speed, and be able to push opponents on the field. In a lift, more torque allows the ability to lift heavier loads, lift items faster, and maintain speeds during lifting. For a flywheel, torque allows for higher speed, less loss of speed between shots, and easier tuning of speeds.

In summary, torque is a measure of rotational force that is essential in the design and operation of machines and structures. It is used to calculate the ability of an object to rotate, transmit power, and withstand external forces.

Teams Contributed to this Article:

  • BLRS (Purdue SIGBots)

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