I'm a n00b here so go easy please! I've just moved into a new house and cannot fit a dog flap anywhere and in an effort to give my Dog some freedom and prevent accidents overnight I'm looking to automate the opening and closing of my patio doors using a Pi, an Arduino and a system of pulleys / rods. End goal is to put an RFID tag on "Busters" collar and when he triggers the RFID for say 10 seconds it'll open the door for 15 seconds, when he wants to come back inside all he has to do is wait by the back door for 10 seconds and the door will open again for 15 seconds. We're talking a movement of 3ft here as my wife and I will be using this door also with an RFID tag we'll put on a hook nearby or by using our iPhones to log on to a web server page hosted on the Pi.
It may sound a little far fetched but I think this project has legs. The trouble is I'm not having much luck wading through the tonnes of information online about the Arduino and all the different models / shields etc. I think I'll be OKish piecing together the code to get this thing working once I have the hardware ordered. Farnell UK would be my preferred retailer if you link to anything! 8) I'll be coding in Python.
Can someone put it in very simple terms for me as I have no background in electronics. When it comes to Computer hardware I'm better than most, but electronics are a new world that I want to explore... What sort of strength servo am I likely to need to pull and push a sliding patio door?
Any help is gratefully received. Thanks!