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Brushless Motors: History, Types and Functions

A brushless motor is a direct current (DC) electric motor. It has gained popularity because of it being more economical than traditional motors. A brushless motor offers terrific operational savings, although it is pricier than conventional motors and requires a high initial investment. Let’s dive into its history of development to understand how it became so popular.

Brushless Motors: A Brief History

After Michael Faraday laid the foundation of the first electric motor in the mid-19th century, inventors began to experiment with different designs of motors. Eventually, in 1960, the first brushless motor was conceptualized. These motors were first used in military systems and aerospace domains. However, the advancements in semiconductor technology led to the implementation of complex algorithms that paved the way for more efficient motor operation.

Brushless Motors Became Popular in New Domains

In the 2000s, the use of microcontrollers and digital signal processors was perfected in brushless motors. As a result, the motors found new use cases in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, industrial automation, and robotics. Later, the enhancement of permanent magnet materials, such as neodymium magnets directly improved the performance of brushless motors. In the last decade, we saw the integration of brushless motors with the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices.

Different Parts of Brushless Motors

Brushless motors consist of a stator with windings, a rotor with permanent magnets, Hall effect sensors for position feedback, a brushless motor controller also known as a brushless motor driver, bearings, a shaft, and optional cooling systems or encoders.

Brushless Motors: Different Types of Brushless Motors

Unlike traditional motors, brushless motors operate without the use of brushes and a commutator. They are considered more efficient, reliable and easier to maintain when compared with brushed motors. Brushless motors have evolved considerably in recent history and now we have a multitude of brushless motors that can be used for various tasks. Below is a classification of different types of motors:

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM): High-efficiency motors that use sinusoidal commutation. These motors are commonly used in electric vehicles and industrial machinery.

• Sensorless Brushless Motors: Motors operating without traditional position sensors, relying on advanced control algorithms and back EMF for position estimation.

• Outrunner Brushless Motors: Motors with a rotating outer shell, suitable for applications requiring high torque and low RPM.

• Inrunner Brushless Motors: Compact motors with the rotor inside the stator, ideal for higher RPM applications with limited space.

Brushless DC Motors (BLDC): Efficient motors with precise speed and position control, used in electronics, vehicles, and automation.

• Hall Effect Sensor Equipped Motors: Motors with integrated Hall sensors for accurate rotor position feedback, used in applications requiring precise control.

Stepper MotorsMotors providing controlled rotational movement in discrete steps, used in applications like 3D printing and CNC machines.

Linear Brushless Motors: Motors that produce linear motion along a track, utilized in industries like automation and semiconductor manufacturing.

• Multirotor Motors: Lightweight, high-RPM motors designed for drones and other multirotor aircraft. A brushless motor for drone provides the necessary thrust and stability required for drone flight.

Brushless Motors: Functions

Brushless Motors perform a variety of functions. High speed electric motor manufacturers ensure that motors perform the functions as per the requirement in the area of use. Below is a list of some of the main functions:

• Phases and Commutation: Multiple sets of windings with switched currents create a rotating magnetic field that interacts with the rotor.

• Rotor Movement: Interaction between the rotating stator field and rotor magnets causes continuous rotation.

• Electronic Commutation: Precise control of current direction in stator windings using electronics instead of brushes.

• Stator and Windings: Coils of wire in the stationary part of the motor that creates a magnetic field when current flows through them.

• Rotor and Magnets: The rotating part of the motor with permanent magnets, generates its magnetic field.

• Control Algorithms: Microcontroller-driven logic that manages current switching based on position feedback or back EMF measurements.

• Speed and Direction Control: Adjusting current timing and amplitude to precisely control rotation speed and direction.

• Efficiency and Reduced Wear: Lack of physical contact between brushes and commutators increases efficiency and extends motor lifespan.


A brushless motor has evolved into an important piece of equipment for various industries. These motors are gaining popularity due to higher efficiency, longer lifespan, precise control, and reduced maintenance. Due to the advantages offered by brushless motors, it has become ideal for various applications, including electric vehicles, drones, and industrial automation. However, you can only get the best of the motor if you buy it from a brushless motor supplier that offers high-grade products. Whether you are looking for brushed/brushless motors, it is important to source it from a reliable vendor with a track record of supplying quality motors.

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