I recently bought an arduino uno starter kit, and I've been having fun playing with leds and different sensors. Now it's time for something a little bigger.
I own a Bonzini B90 foosball table (pictured below), and for starters I'd like to try and move the opposing midfield rod laterally while I try to pass the ball through.
In the image above the table has handles screwed on. I can screw them off and then a rod looks like this: These are telescopic rods, where there and an outer rod mounted on an inner rod. So in essence I want to control the outer rod (pictured 2nd from the top in the above photo).
I did some googling and found this (http://www.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/~kiro/english/index.html) approach. Here they have a belt drive parallel to the rod, with a stepper motor running the belt drive. This seems like a good way to tackle this problem.
I checked with the supplier I bought my arduino kit from, and they have this motor in stock: http://www.let-elektronik.dk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=348&category_id=22&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=81
Will this be strong enough to move the rod at an acceptable speed? I'd like something that could move it as quick as a human (or faster!). I've never worked with motors before, and my last physics class was 10 years ago, so I'm lost when trying to quantify the force needed for pulling/pushing this thing. But I know that with this table, the rod itself is pretty light (unfortunately I wasn't able to find an exact weight), whereas it is the men that are heavy. They're made of solid metal. So if I just use a very light grip with my hand, it's easier to move the rod up and down than to actually lift the men in either direction. The midfield rod has a span of 12.5 cm (4.92 inches) from wall to wall, so that is the maximum length I will need to move it at any time.
Also, I think the above motor was designed to plug into a board from phidgets, but can I just plug it into this (http://www.let-elektronik.dk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=153&category_id=22&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=81) along with my arduino uno?
I'm guessing I will also need a power supply. I'm guessing this one (http://www.let-elektronik.dk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=353&category_id=22&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=81) will cut it since they recommend it for the other phidgets products. Yes?
I have a few more questions about the specifics of attaching the belt drive to the rod, but let's just start with the motor part here. I'd be happy to provide more specifics if needed. Thanks!