Customizing electric motor movements. Help!

Old 10-28-13, 11:37 AM
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Cool Customizing electric motor movements. Help!

I have a rather interesting project that I've recently upgraded from 'Pulleys' to 'Dials and Electric motors'. Unfortunately, I have very little knowledge on how to hook a controller up to an electric motor beyond giving it an On/Off switch.

I'm making a set of articulating wings, for a costume. Basically fully-jointed bird wings. No, I do not intend to fly. Their only function is to look awesome.

The motors need to do two things - First, Extend the wing outward, and pull it back in.

Second, rotate it on an axis, back and forth

Any ideas where to start? A fully-feathered wing is about 5 pounds, so the motor (or series of motors) should be able to easily move that much weight, possibly up to 10 pounds, if there is heavy winds resisting movement.
The base structure is aluminum, so there are plenty of places to drill holes and attach small pulleys.

Like a remote-control helicopter has a sensitive dial to control the speed of the blades, does anyone know how to manually control how far and fast the motor pushes the joint? For instance, if I only wanted to extend the wings to a halfway point, stop, then slowly bring them back in.

Mark.01 was a cardboard prototype, just to get a feel how the joints worked
Mark.02 was made of balsa wood, with a cloth overlay. Nearly 9foot wingspan, about 20 pounds total. It felt fine wearing for prolonged periods, but was bulky when I wanted to sit down in any way. To extend the wings, I pulled on straps connected to key joints.
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Mark.03 is going to be MUCH smaller, sturdier, lighter and the frame has undergone a bit of alteration . - This is the one I'm using motors on. - Estimations for total weight (not including motors) currently sits at 10 pounds, wingspan at about 5.5 feet. About the size of a Swan's wings, if you need a reference point.

Anyway... what do I need from you?
Some links/advice about how electrical motors + pulleys could achieve the movement I want, as well as the control I want.
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Old 10-29-13, 06:24 AM
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You'll probably want to use a stepper motor and stepper motor controller. Each 'step' is a few degrees of motion and can do what you're looking for. I've never done anything that requires that much torque though, so you'd probably need to either get a larger motor or gear it appropriately.
Old 10-29-13, 06:29 AM
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You might find it easier to use a traditional motor with a rotary cam. It probably would be less expensive and with it you would not have to worry about switching the motor's direction or programming. You could route out the profile in a piece of plywood with the wings linkage engaging the cam with a cam follower bearing.

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