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After exploring many different methods for lifting the box lid, we decided that using linear actuators will be the best way to move forward. We avoided this option earlier because the actuators are more expensive than gears and motors, but they will be more quiet and better integrated into the system.
We’ve chosen a miniature linear actuator by Firgelli. We need the L-12i series which has an internal controller. The specs for the actuator are: 100mm stroke | 6V power input | 100 gear ratio also known as “6,100,100,i.” The link to download the data sheet is here.
Below is a video of our first tests with the actuators. This is using them just as an on/off switch and not incorporating the feedback control.