Using Linear Actuators to Measure Force

Hi good day everyone, I'm currently working on a project to measure the horizontal spring force (up to 180N or 40.5Ib) of a device at 3 different positions (10mm, 60mm and 93mm).

I am thinking of working on this project using an Arduino Uno. It should also have 3 pushbuttons to activate the linear actuators at 3 different positions (10mm, 60mm and 93mm). A load cell will be added below the piston to measure the force.

Illustration is shown below, sorry for the bad drawing and at I hadn't decided how to mount it yet

I guess I should separate this project into two parts:

A) Linear Actuator Interface (For Positioning)
B) Load Cell Interface (For measuring the force)

For A) Linear Actuator:
I found a suitable linear actuator that meets my specification (link below), but I need advice on which driver/controller/device should I use for the linear actuator to fix at 3 different positions whenever I press the pushbutton?

Actuonix P16-S: 200 mm Stroke 67 lb Thrust Light Duty Linear Actuator - ServoCity

B) Load Cell Interface
My approach for this load cell is quite straightforward, I'll purchase a load cell and amplifier and hook it up to the Arduino.

Oh last question, can I use 1 set of Arduino UNO to hook up both the Load cell interface and Linear Actuator Interface?

And how can i improve this project?

Yes you can interface several things to the same Arduino, otherwise it would be pretty useless!
(You do have to check for conflicting pin requirements, but a motor shield and an analog input should
be fine).
You are going to need some way of sensing the actuator position though, a set of 3 microswitches
perhaps?

MarkT:
Yes you can interface several things to the same Arduino, otherwise it would be pretty useless!
(You do have to check for conflicting pin requirements, but a motor shield and an analog input should
be fine).
You are going to need some way of sensing the actuator position though, a set of 3 microswitches
perhaps?

Hi thanks for the reply Mark.

I would probably be purchasing a DC type linear actuator. Which motor driver would you recommend I get?

And t]yes I would like to hook up 3 switches onto the board to sense 3 different positions but I’m not really sure how to start :confused:

ilovekenneth:
Hi thanks for the reply Mark.

I would probably be purchasing a DC type linear actuator. Which motor driver would you recommend I get?

One that can drive the actual actuator you get... Choose the motor first, then get a driver to match it. You
can't choose the driver first and hope its right!

And t]yes I would like to hook up 3 switches onto the board to sense 3 different positions but I'm not really sure how to start :confused:

Start with one. There are examples in the IDE.