Controllers, drivers and esc

What is the difference between motor driver, motor controller, servo driver servo controller and ESC.
Which are more suitable for hobby robotics projects?


Your first question is pretty broad as it lumps motor drivers and controllers together with servo controllers and ESCs, and different manufacturers might have slightly different terms or definitions. Specific differences will also vary between particular devices. Some information about the general differences in the way we designate between drivers and controllers can be found on the “Motion Control Modules” section of our website.

To summarize, the difference between our motor drivers and motor controllers is essentially what kind of signal they accept. Drivers are typically simple modules that accept low-level control signals (e.g. PWM and direction) from the user, while controllers have an on-board microcontroller to handle the low-level signals and accept high-level signals from the user (e.g. TTL serial signals or USB communication). Some of our motor controllers also offer more complex features as well, such as acceleration limiting, current sensing, feedback-based-control, and limit switch support.

As far as controlling servos, our Maestro USB Servo Controllers have an on-board microcontroller (like a motor controller) and can be used as a stand-alone device to control servos (via a user-made script stored on the device) or together with a computer or separate microcontroller via USB or serial commands. They do not accept hobby RC signals like an ESC.

All of these devices can be suitable for a hobby robotics project, which one is most appropriate will depend on what the project consists of, how you want to implement different features/functions, and how you want to do it. If you can post details about your project, we might have some suggestions.


What is the difference between a robot controller, micro controller and raspberry pi?

and what does raspberry pi bridge mean? i read it in description of one of your robot controllers.

i am just starting to as a robot hobbyist.

I merged your posts since they are both about understanding different types of products we carry. Our robot controllers are devices that make it easy to control differential drive robots; they have built in dual motor drivers and a microcontroller. A microcontroller is a small programmable computer that usually runs a single program and operates in real time. (Arduinos and our A-Stars are examples of programmable microcontrollers.) The Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers that usually run a Linux operating system. They have more computing power than most microcontrollers and have the ability to run multiple programs. In general, a microcontroller is a more appropriate device for doing low level tasks like generating PWM signals to control brushed gearmotors or RC hobby servo pulses to control RC servos. A Raspberry Pi is more suitable for complex, high level tasks like imaging, mapping, serving a web interface, etc. A Raspberry Pi bridge is a connection that allows a device to be mounted directly to the 2x20 0.1"-spaced male header pins on the Raspberry Pi boards.