what is the difference between a motor driver(like L293D) and a motor shield?
what are the advantage?disadvantages of both?
And which one do you suggest ?
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A motor driver is a chip that drives motors. A motor shield is a circuit board with connections on it that contains a motor driver chip that drives motors.
A shield is convenient since you can just plug it in to your Arduino and wire the motors direct to it, but it lacks the flexibility of a raw driver chip which you can wire up precisely as your project demands.
The differrence is usablilty and, in some cases, the protection of your chip; if there is a surge of more than 5V to your driver it will fry, which is why some drivers have onboard voltage regulators and a heatsink for overheating problems. Advantage of motor driver is that you can use it as per your requirements, whereas a shield is fixed and you cannot change any aspects.