I'm going to preface this by making it clear that I'm an alright programmer but have next-to-no knowledge of anything mechanical, so, I'll take any mocking and/or derision firmly in stride because I definitely deserve it.
This is a pipette pump. While you can't see it in the picture, the wheel is kind of like a gear, in that it has regularly spaced indentations which, I believe, would allow you to place a linear rod with equivalent indentations next to it to control the rate that it draws in liquid.
Leaving aside for a moment the calculations necessary to determine what fraction of a rotation corresponds to what volume of liquid and the force required to turn the wheel - I obviously plan to do that once I've got a better idea of what I'm going to need to do - does anyone have any ideas as to how to implement something like this?
It's obviously a small-scale project of no real significance but I'm interested in seeing if I can automate the most tedious part of my day to day. I'd like to be able to press one of three buttons, corresponding to 9ml, 1ml and 0.1 ml respectively - this much I actually know how to do - and have the pipette draw in that much fluid. The viscosity of the fluid isn't a factor as it's always essentially constant.
Like I said, I get electronics reasonably well, it's the 'making them move' part that's nontrivial.