Linear actuators convert the fast rotation of a DC motor into slow linear movement, and they can provide quite a strong pushing or pulling force. The most basic definition of a linear actuator is that it’s a mechanical device that converts energy to create motion in a straight line; contrasted with circular motion of a conventional electric motor. It can also be used to apply a force.
You can easily control linear actuators using a simple H-bridge circuit — put it together with an Arduino and a bit of woodwork, and you can make yourself an automatic crusher for beverage cans — no soldering required!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.