Articulating panel ... advice for a true beginner

Dear Tech Forum,

I would like some advice on how to get started.

I would like to build a panel that mounts to a wall and can automatically do the following with a push of a button:

Movement 1) Move up 6"
Movement 2) Move down 6"

The panel dimensions: 10’ Length x 1" Deep x 6" Wide
Panel wight: 4 lbs
Power Source: Option 1: Battery // Option 2: Wall Outlet

My questions to the community are below

  1. I am a complete beginner and would like to learn how can I get started on learning the skills to do this project (e.g. Motor selection, Control Board Connections, Programing, etc.)
  2. What motor I should buy
  3. What control boards I should buy
  4. What else do I need to know / other advice

Thank you so much!

Hello Dave,

Welcome to the DigiKey forum!

Where is this system to be used? This matters because it determines the technology to be used.

In a production / factory setting we are money ahead to use traditional Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and other industrial components. The emphasis is on money and minimization of down time. For example, a $20 switch may seem expensive until you consider the down time for your production line: time lost for the idle employee, missed opportunity, and likely overtime to get back on track.

Can you tell us more about the mechanism. Is precision important? If yes, perhaps a lead-screw is necessary. On the other hand, a pneumatic cylinder would provide a robust, powerful, and easy to implement solution.

Best Wishes,


Thanks for the warm welcome

I will be using it in my home. I have two versions I am considering building

  1. with a panel that moves up and down

  2. a automated window blind that moves up and down

Precision is important in this application.

This is video shows what I would like to build and the exact application

Thanks for the help!


Hello Dave,

I think I understand your project. You are attempting to change the screen aspect ratio for a projector-based video system.

As a starting point, please take a look at projects similar to this.

Perhaps a motor, limit switches, and an Arduino controller will meet your needs.

Best Wishes,


P.S. For further assistance please provide additional details of the project. For example, pictures of the mechanism are especially useful.


Thanks for this link I think it is a very good start!

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