Star Trek-Style Bedroom Doors: The Ultimate in Home Improvement
By James Mulroy
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If you were like every other geek child out there, you too may have wished to be beamed to the starship Enterprise in geosynchronous orbit directly above your house. Then you’d want to take the elevator to the bridge and walk through those automatic air-whooshing doors. Star Trek enthusiast Marc DeVidts had those same dreams and built an air-powered automatic door for his own home, and so can you.
Marc had been trying for years to install a Star Trek-style door, but at the time he still was in school and lived with his mother. His mother simply didn’t see the clear benefits of having a Star Trek door installed in their house. But after Hurricane Katrina, they were renovating their house and his mother finally gave in to the most logical–and clearly, the easiest–door-replacement suggestion.
Using a PIC micro-controller, an air compressor and tank from The Home Depot, a door (to be split in half), a door track, pneumatic pistons, solenoid-operated valve, and various pneumatic hose and fittings, Marc was able to bring his bedroom to the stars…or rather, the stars to his bedroom. The door is also equipped with a locking keypad. When pushed, a button lights up green and the door opens.