Speed can be varied by either changing the voltage or pulsing the motor. Most computer controlled DC motors are pulsed. Pulses of a fixed voltage are sent to the motor, usually by an Electronic Speed Controller or ESC. A pulse of 1.5 ms causes no motion. Wider pulses cause faster spinning in one direction. Shorter pulses cause faster spinning in the opposite direction. Eventually, an overstressed ESC stops pulsing and turns one wire on and one wire off, depending on the direction.
Servo motors are usually mounted on a circuit board. Some have two wires traveling to the circuit board much like between a DC motor and ESC. Attached to the board are wires for motor power and again three wires going to the arduino, the same three wires mentioned above.
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