|DC Motor||DC voltage||Fast, continuous rotation motors||computer cooling fans, or RC car wheels|
|Stepper||MCU to individually energise each electromagnet and make the motor shaft turn||Slow, precise rotation, easy set up & control||\ Low torque on high speed|
|Servo||PWM, three wires (power, ground & control)||Fast, high torque, accurate rotation within a limited angle, better than stepper, require a position encoder||Expensive|
- Brushed DC motors
A brushed DC motor is the most common small DC motor and can be found in everything from toys to tape-decks and battery-powered drills. They typically run at high speeds with relatively low torque. It has 2 leads and the Motor Shield can control the speed in both forward and reverse directions.
- DC Gear Motors
A DC Gear Motor is a brushed DC motor with a built-in gear train. These deliver high torque at medium to low speeds. These are typically found in drive-trains for robots and remote-control vehicles. They have two leads and are controlled the same as a regular brushed DC motor.
- Stepper Motor
A stepper motor is a specialized type of motor for precise position control. They are commonly found in disk drives and printers. Steppers may have anywhere between 4 and 8 leads and anywhere from 4 to more than 200 steps per revolution. The Motor Shield can control these in single or multiple steps for precise positioning.
RC Servos are another specialized motor for precision positioning. Originally designed for operating Radio Controlled model cars and airplanes, they are now used extensively in hobbyist robotics too. An RC Servo has a 3-wire interface and most can be positioned over a range of 0-180 degrees with a precision of approximately one degree. The Motor Shield has header connections for 2 RC servos.
- Continuous Rotation Servo
Continuous Rotation Servos are basically RC servos with the position feedback and limit mechanisms removed (Technically, with no feedback they are not really "servos" anymore.). Although they share the same 3-wire interface as the RC Servos, they have no position control. They function much like DC gear motors with speed control in forward and reverse.