An automated method of testing a 5 mm diameter flextensional ultrasonic motor has been assembled using off-the-shelf components, which derives performance measurements from the transient start up and stopping behaviour of the motor using a non-contact position encoder. The method gives full performance characteristics in less than a second and it is scaleable for use with other sizes and other types of motor. Furthermore, it provides a relatively simple technique for non-contact measurements of position, angle or velocity that can be rapidly cycled as part of a development programme. The method has shown sufficient sensitivity, using basic components, to measure torque in the range 10-200 mu N m and speed in the range from 0 to over 2000 rpm. The torque and speed ranges are only dependant on the sensitivity of encoder instrumentation, inertial load on the motor and data acquisition. This system is believed to be a significant improvement over previously reported work that has detailed friction brake or manual 'one-off' systems and the test format has greater applicability for micro-motors that are used for their positioning capabilities. Crown Copyright (C) 2007 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.