I am a programmer with a lot of experience in IoT but somewhat new to actuators and robotics.

I would like to create a "Cable Car" which consists of two stepper motors and a pulley. The motors would be located one next to the other, and the pulley on the opposite wall. Each stepper motor would have a spool and be connected with fishing wire. In the middle would be a styrofoam boat. The idea would be to move the boat along the wire from one wall to another based on different metrics and calculations. Ideally it will travel from one end to the other in a months time and in slow increments.

Diagram using ASCII:

|___________________| |x o| |x_________________o| | | | | | <-- BOAT --> | | | | | x = stepper motor o = pulley _ = fishing wire (starts at top motor, goes to pulley(s), continues and ends at bottom motor) | = wall

My question is: What type of stepper motors should and controller should I use? I estimate that the wire + the styrofoam boat will not weigh more than 3 pounds total. It will it hang at a height of 10 feet from the floor.

I am hoping to achieve this with a Rasperry Pi I have lying around.

I am confused about various torque requirements, voltage & amperage ratings etc.

If someone has a recommendation for hardware I would be extremely grateful.

  • $\begingroup$ You will need to determine how fast and how far it needs to go and figure out drag. Or just overpower it and don't worry about that. Why not just use one motor and have it drive two pulleys on a loop at opposite sides, easier to program one motor than two. Also is there any vertical incline? $\endgroup$
    – user241585
    Jul 21 '17 at 21:11

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