Incremental encoders measure the change and direction of motion. Absolute encoders provide absolute position feedback at any point in time. Incremental encoders need to go through a homing routine at start-up to locate the index, which is a zero position or “home”. The main track of the incremental encoder is detected to measure high resolution change in position. Absolute encoders do not need to go through a homing routine at startup, because a unique signal is detected at each location. Since absolute encoders require more complex sensor technology, it has higher latency than the incremental encoder that has zero latency.
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