DC motors are the most common type of motors used in robotics. DC motors appear in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Another way of DC motor characterization is brush type and brushless DC motors. This characterization refers to the manner of commutation used in motor, which converts direct current from the batteries into the alternating current required to generate motor action.

If this commutation is performed mechanically with brushes, the commutator segments at the ends of the rotating rotor col physically slide against the stationary brushes that are connected to the terminals of motor. These type of motors are brush type DC motors. For brushless motors, the DC is converted into AC in the rotor electronically with position sensors and a microprocessor controller, so no brushes are needed.

Brushless DC Motor

Brushed DC Motor


Brush type motors are cheaper than brushless motors and they are more commonly used. Advantages of brushless motors over brush type are that they have reduced friction and consequently longer life and finer control for the motor, additionally the brushless motors produce less radio frequency interference. However, the brushless motors have also some disadvantages like the requirement of more extensive control circuitry to do the commutation electronically.

A conventional DC motor is formed by an arrangement of coils and magnets that creates motion from electrical power.

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