The motor can be directly pulsed by the arduino. The arduino can also supply power to the motor, but normally this is only a good idea for demonstration purposes. The arduino has a very weak power supply, and attempting to power a motor through it can destroy the arduino. Furthermore, the arduino may not be able to supply the exact correct maximum voltage. For this reason, an ESC is placed between the arduino and the motor.
Brushed DC motors rotate continuously when DC voltage is applied to their terminals. The stepper motor is known by its property to convert a train of input pulses (typically square wave pulses) into a precisely defined increment in the shaft position. Each pulse moves the shaft through a fixed angle. Stepper motors effectively have multiple "toothed" electromagnets arranged around a central gear-shaped piece of iron. The electromagnets are energized by an external driver circuit or a micro controller. To make the motor shaft turn, first, one electromagnet is given power, which magnetically attracts the gear teeth. When the gear teeth are aligned to the first electromagnet, they are slightly offset from the next electromagnet.
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