A spherical motor (10) provides smooth isotropic motion. The spherical motor (10) has a spherical stator (12) surrounding a spherical rotor (18). A motor shaft (24) is mounted to the rotor (18), or alternatively, to the stator (12) for performing work in isotropic motion. A grid pattern is situated to move substantially concentrically with the rotor (18) and in conjunction with the motor shaft (24). A vision system (80) monitors the grid pattern (42) and determines in real time the position of the motor shaft (24). The vision system (80) has at least one image sensor (44) positioned on the stator (12) and a computer system (82) for processing data independent of a remote host computer (122). Further, a motor controller (191) using a motor control algorithm (200) may be interfaced with the vision system (80) to thereby derive a motor control system (190) for controlling the spherical motor (10) based upon the rotor orientation information retrieved by the vision system (80). Finally, a video controller (106) can be interfaced with the vision system (80) for converting digital image data in real time to analog image data conforming to the RS-170 television standard for viewing on a display device (116).
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