What you proposed will totally work and you can also use the time library I believe to compare current time with a given time (when the panels open/close) to decide what action to take.I suggest you start small with just the arduino and a couple of LEDs to indicate what the panel is doing so you can get the logic right before you hook it up to the real motor shield and motor
We need to program the arduino to activate at a certain time to open the panels in one direction for a set amount of time then the same to close in the opposite direction.
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