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When I received my master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2002, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. I knew all about analog circuit theory, but I knew next to nothing about practical circuit boards. I could compute the Lorentz force in an electric motor, but I had no idea how motor controllers worked in the real world. Put simply, I could write programs and solve equations, but I couldn’t make anything. 

Shortly after I received my degree, the first Arduino boards appeared in the marketplace. Their simplicity and low cost sparked a worldwide interest in electronics, and within a few years, the Maker Movement was born. Makers aren’t interested in heavy mathematics and physics. Makers are concerned with what they can build. 

Whether it involves 3D printers or the Raspberry Pi, makers care about cool hardware, especially if it involves electronics. But makers get nervous when it comes to motors.

 Pre-built quadcopters are growing in popularity, but I don’t see many makers designing their own electronic speed controls (ESCs) or programming their own robotic arms. This is perfectly understandable.

 Motors are more complicated than other circuit elements. With motors, you don’t just have to be concerned with electrical quantities such as voltage and current; you have to think about mechanical quantities such as torque and angular speed. 

The topic of electric motors isn’t easy, but the goal of this book is to make the concepts approachable to non-engineers. I assume a minimal background in mathematics and physics, and throughout the book, the emphasis is always on making . Instead of discussing the Lorentz force and electromagnetic flux, this book focuses on practical knowledge.

 Instead of bombarding you with equations, I’ll show you the different types of motors available and the ways they can be controlled. It takes time and patience to become comfortable with motors, but once you’ve ascended the learning curve, you’ll be able to work on new and fascinating types of projects. Robots and remotecontrolled vehicles will all fall within your grasp. The road is long, but I assure you that the destination is worth the journey.

As the title should make clear, this is a book for makers. If you’re looking for a textbook on phasor diagrams and Maxwell’s equations, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for practical information related to motor operation and control, you’ve come to the right place.

If you want to know about the different types of motors and what they’re good for, this is the book to have. I’ve done my best to make motors comprehensible to non-engineers, but this book is not for beginners. In writing this book, I assume that you already know about volts, amps, and ohms. Further, I assume that you can look at a simple circuit diagram and get a sense for how the system works.