I'm working on a prototype for a machine that splits the plies of commercial yarns. These yarns are reclaimed from hand-me-down, and thrift shop sweaters. A model of this machine can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKRCNBwv4Pk, but I've made a fairly important change since the video was made. See this image.
The rod and sliding "hooks" replaced the screw eyes so as to distribute the yarn more evenly on the drum. When the yarn is even distributed, the operation works smoothly, and it didn't work well with the stationary screw eyes. At this point, I've decided that I want that distribution to happen automatically. The sliding hooks work as I hoped except they're a bit fiddly.
I am a newborn to both electronics, and Arduino. My question revolves around a joint mechanical / Arduino approach. I could use a little 12v. DC motor, and a reducing worm gear to turn a threaded rod on which these sliding hooks could ride. Alternatively, the worm gear might operate a rack directly under the rod, and the rack could be fixed to the sliding hooks. I would need for the Arduino program to reverse the rotation of the motor at specific intervals. Sometimes, 2 hooks will be used, so the motor controller would need to turn in one direction for a longer time than if 3 or 4 hooks would be used. What kind of sensor might make sense to help me accomplish that? Is this something I could accomplish, or would I be wiser to pay someone to do the eagle PCB layout, and Arduino programming?
If I've hastened through a point that needs clarification, please feel free to ask. I'll try to find a way to make it clearer.