Controlling a linear actuator with Alexa

A lot depends on the details, like the size of the actuator and the force required to move it.

There are several different ways depending on these details.

  1. push a button or a switch with up to about 3 pounds of force.

If it’s small, you can get a battery-operated “robot finger” which already has Alexa integration and just use that. I use several of these in my own home of the Switch-bot brand to push buttons on things like a blender, the DVD eject button, etc. if the force needed is light enough, this is a great solution even for regular rocker switches. It won’t void the warranty, it doesn’t require any wiring, end it already has the Alexa integration.

I wrote a review of this for this forum last year

2020 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT or SmartThings app

  1. automatic door openers

There are also some specialty devices of this type for use as door openers, even for quite heavy doors. they come in models for sliding patio doors, residential swing doors, gate openers, etc. Olide is a good brand. You have to look for the specific models that come with the Alexa integration built in.


  1. mid range force, push rod actuator, like opening a cabinet

If this is a different kind of actuator, it depends on whether it’s a push rod or an electrical actuator. If it’s a push rod, you have to add an electrical motor to move it and then add something to give you the Alexa integration. This is usually similar to the deadbolt on a door, but larger. People might use this to make a cabinet open or something like that. There are some project reports in the forum on projects like that.

  1. Relay

Or if this is just a relay and what you really need is to actuate that relay, that’s a whole different kind of issue. You don’t need to provide a motor, you just need to turn the current on and off. If you are in the US, Zooz makes a good Z wave relay of this type, but of course you also need a hub. And then normally you would get your Alexa integration through that hub. So this is a very useful device for certain kinds of projects.

So it all comes down to the details of the project. This forum is for people who are using the Samsung SmartThings ™ Home Automation platform. So all of the questions and answers are assumed to be in that context. It is a very busy community, so it often comes up near the top on general home automation searches, but it is not a general forum. Do you already have a smartthings or Aeotec hub or are you starting completely from scratch?