Motive Control System

The Motive Controller provides an end-to-end system for rapid prototyping of high-bandwidth, low-latency robotic control applications.


  • 100kHz FOC current control
  • Internal 10kHz force control
  • Round-trip communication latency less than 100µs

The primary functions of Moco are to allow for a number of different control schemes in a robotic actuation system, and enable rapid setup of prototype systems. In particular, Moco allows for straight-forward configuration of force controlled actuator systems, which are not easily addressed with typical off-the-shelf systems.

Control Board

The Control Board is a custom designed 4-layer PCB utilizing the TI C2000 family microcontroller. The Control Board comes in two package sizes:

  • 5cm x 5cm for embedded applications
  • 11.5cm x 5.5cm for development and debugging

The boards have connectors for: USB, SPI, QEP, UART, and Analog signals. The larger development board has pins for scoping values and has a peripheral pinout compatible with the TI BoostXL.

MoCo board


The firmware supports a number of different control modes, including:

  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Position
  • Force
  • Feed-forward full-state

The controller also allows for user defined, custom control modes


system diagram

The Motive Controller uses a standard USB connection for communication, along with platform support on Window, Linux, and macOS. Both x86 and ARM architecures are supported on linux.

Software and APIs

There are multiple ways to interact with the hardware and firmware. At the lowest level, Motive provides a USB interface in C which allows for sending and receiving of data packets. We also support a network abstraction using ZMQ. High level interfaces are available for C++, Python and Simulink.

Additionally, Motive provides a comprehensive command line toolset for data I/O, as well as graphical interfaces for desktop environments.

data plotting