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I'm new to robotics (and maybe it's not even robotics), and want to build a "pushing mechanism" to automatically push a "pop up stick" up from my kitchen bench (see product here: http://www.evoline.no/produkter/port/).

By design, the "pop up stick" is made to be dragged up by hand, but I want to install a mechanism under the bench, to do it by a trigger of some kind.

I'm a programmer, and I have some experience with Raspberry Pi. Does anybody have any hints of what products I could use to build this?

Thanks :)

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You could use a rack and pinion as a linear actuator. A simple way of knowing when to stop turning the motor could be a contract sensor/button at the upper and lower position.

You could also add something to compensate for gravity, like a spring or a counter weight, such that it does not fall down under its own weight (or also use "high" friction as used in the linked product, which will as require more force from the motor).

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Low cost (a relative term) linear actuators are available. [Here is one source] of many1.

Typically you need two parts, the actuator and the driving electronics (also called a motor driver, motor controller, or motor amplifier). The Pi will talk to the driver which will then make the actuator move.

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