This study presents the development of an embedded system for controlling a high speed robotic manipulator. Three different types of controllers including hardware Proportional Derivative (PD), software PD and single time scale visual servoing are considered in this study. Novel Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology was used for implementing the embedded system for faster execution speeds and parallelism. It comprised dedicated hardware and software modules for obtaining sensor feedback, control signal estimation and providing the control signal to the servo values. A Nios II virtual soft processor system was configured in the FPGA for implementing functions that are computationally expensive and difficult to implement in hardware. Quadrature decoding, Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) input and output modules and control signal estimation in some cases was carried out using the dedicated hardware modules. The experiments show that the proposed controller performed satisfactory control of the end effector position. It performed single time scale visual servoing with control signal updates at 330 Hz to control the end effector trajectory at speeds of up to 0.8 ms−1. The FPGA technology also provided a more compact single chip implementation of the controller.