ServoMaster: Reference Library


  • libphidget - a C/C++ implementation of a generic Phidget driver, including servo driver. Other Phidgets (LCD, digital/analog input, etc.) are supported as well.
  • libphidgets - a libhid based user-space access library for Phidgets.

Servo Controllers

Price calculations are approximate and depend on the current price at the moment of writing. Taxes and shipping are not included.
Device $/servo Servos Protocols Notes
Phidgets CDN 30, CDN 18.75 1, 4 USB QuadServo, UniServo, other good stuff there as well. Beware: the prices are in canadian dollars!
Phidgets USA $24, $14.06 1, 4 Phidgets, Inc. US reseller
ASC $11.875 8 USB The servo controller is just a part of this device; if you need just the controller, better take Phidget - more functionality, third of the cost
Mini SSC II $5.5 8 Serial Stackable up to 2 controllers, or up to 32 with special order components
Servo Controller with Preset N/A 12 Serial
Parallel Port Servo Controller N/A 1 Parallel
Servo Controller with Torque Feedback ? 8 Stackable up to 8 controllers
Pololu Serial Servo Controller $2.9375 16 Serial
Pololu USB Servo Controller $5.0625 16 USB, Serial
Servo Controller for Robotic Applications N/A 16 Serial
SV8, SV16 N/A 8, 16 Serial
LynxMotion SSC12 $5 12 Serial
LynxMotion USB $11.875 8 USB
Pontech SV203, SV203b/c $7.735 8 Serial B/C and B models offer additional functionality (for the price)
Parallax PSC $2.4375 16 Serial Stackable up to 2 controllers. Seems to be a very cost-efficient solution
Parallax USB $2.4375 16 USB Seems to be the most cost-efficient solution


This is what you need to run ServoMaster:

Embedded Dependencies

These are included with the distribution - you don't have to download them separately:

  • javax.usb is required to build and use USB controllers.

Required Dependencies

  • Java SDK or JRE. All versions up to 1.4.2_04 are known to work. Version 1.5.0 doesn't work - currently it breaks at least one dependency (RxTx), and some of DalSemi code doesn't compile;
  • libusb - required for Phidgets C++ implementation.

Optional Dependencies

  • JavaCOMM and RxTx are required to build and use serial controllers. RxTx version 1.4-15 is known to work (though it is a pain to compile on modern boxes), versions 2.x are known to fail. However, it is possible that 2.x will be fixed someday (2.1-7pre20 allegedly works), so keep trying.

Development Tools

  • Ant, versions 1.5.1 (ant-1.5.1-3jpp and ant-optional-full-1.5.1-3jpp RPMs, DZ up to 0.1p5) and 1.6.1 (no RPM, get the binary) are known to work;
    Unfortunately, distribution model chosen by Ant developers doesn't allow multiple versions of Ant to coexist on the same box. If you have the RPM installed, the binary won't work because it will try to read /etc/ant.conf and will fail.
  • GNU autoconf, version 2.53 is known to work;
  • GNU automake, version 1.4p6 is known to work;
  • GNU libtool, version 1.3.5 is known to work;
  • GNU make, almost any version is good (known to work with 3.79.1).


Following are the links that don't necessarily fit in any particular category, but do provide some insights: