Swing Door Automation

Is anybody using actuators for automatically open/close apartment/house swing door?
If "yes", please advice which one?
All what I can find say, on Amazon is overpriced and cannot be freely operated manually.
My requirements are:

  • Must not interfere with manual door open/close operation;
  • Better to be compact and nice looking;
  • Operating voltage does not matter, it could be anything;
  • As an interface all what I need is an open/close dry contacts or something else
    really simple;

I just purchased a home and I am contemplating doing this in combination with door knobs that do not engage with the door frame, along with smart deadbolts.

The main reason I want to do this is because I have an auxiliary room with laundry equipment and my robotic vacuum/mop. I want to open the door when it's time for the vacuum to do its thing.

So far the best idea I can come up with is to use mechanical cable reels of some form, (You can find cheapo adhesive versions, all the way up to nice steel spring-loaded versions.)

I'm planning to install the spring cable tensioner on each side of the door with relatively equal force being applied. Then I have to engineer exactly how to couple the motor to that steel cable. My guess is it will be some sort of conical actuator that when pressure is applied It clamps down onto the cable. The final piece of the puzzle will be using magnets on either side to help hold the door in place. You can easily get the door stopper magnets from Home Depot for when the door is open, and I could easily embed some neo magnets in the actual closing surface to keep it closed.

The brain behind this would be an ESP8266 or ESP32. I just had to figure out which cheap motor to use and how to mechanically interface it with the steel cable. If I simply add a pulley and wrap the steel cable around it then the motor will be spun manually every time the door is opened by hand, which could cause damage to the motor or controller.

Thank you for sharing yours idea.
But as of today I already automated all my doors in my condo apartment.

  1. Apartment entry swing door.
    I ended up with Open Sesami swing door actuator.
    It looks very nice and can be easily controlled just with single
    dry contact relay. It has buit-in clutch which allows manual
    door operation without adding any extra force. Also it controls
    door strike. This allows me to use simple Door Handle Latch
    in addition to the main Ultraloq deadbolt.

  2. Balcony swing door.
    This is 100% DYI project based on linear 9" stroke actuator plus
    ZEN17 for controlling actuator and reporting door status.
    Mechanically door could be manually operated when actuator
    is retracted. But when door is open by actuator it cannot be
    manually closed without retracting actuator.
    This is OK and has 100% WAF.

  3. Balcony sliding door.
    For this one I am using "Autoslide". It is very nice looking and
    relatively easy to install. This one also easily controlled by single
    dry contact relay. ZEN17 is used for the controlling "Autoslide"
    and reporting door status.

On top of all these electromechanical toys there are many related
RM rules for controlling all doors and automated curtains.

Awesome man thank you for sharing back! I'm definitely going to look at that first solution for my situation.

Btw in my sleep I did come up with an idea to solve your DIY solutions minor design flaw. I'd have to draw it out but I think it would work. Essentially install the linear actuator to slide in an out of a tube that's also hinge-mounted to the door. They can slide, like having a track. Then you place fairly strong neo magnets on the top of the actuator shaft as well as the tube. I'm envisioning two PVC pipes, where the actuator is fully hidden inside.

In normal operation, the door would open and close without issue, but if someone wanted to manually push/pull, it would with rather ease. Then, with the help of open/close sensors on either side, and perhaps even another on the tip of the actuator shaft, you'd know where the door is and if the actuator was mated with the magnet. In the event it's not mated, you use the sensors to figure out where to move the tip to, or just use the entire stroke to find it, then move to desired location.

The main issue is stroke length, and where you'd make your mounting points, but it's all doable.

Anyhow, it's just something that popped into my head in a dream. I think with minor adjustments it would work well, and have undeniable WAF. The official solutions all seem the start at $600. This should be less than $200 for everything.

A rotating style, with a servo and swing arms, similar to open sesame might be smarter.

First off all - I don't have any design flaw and/or problem.
A little inconvenience to manually close the door when actuator is extended is
not a problem.
This is very heavy storm grade balcony swing door (I am in Florida).
As a result and State requirements the door is equipped with very strong
auto close mechanism which I am not allowed to modify by any means.
"Open Sesami" (and all similar) swing door operators are not strong enough
to overcome closing force. Only Linear Actuator can do the job and it does it nicely.
When actuator is retracted the door could be manually operated without any problems.
But when door is opened by extended actuator it could be closed only by
retracting Actuator.
Is this a problem? - NOT for me and my wife.
Is this a bit inconvenient? - YES, but has 100% WAF.
Is this a State Code violation? - Partially "yes" because "self close" function a bit
compromised. But this is no different if I will use whatever door stoper if I want to
keep door open for a long time. Which is a case a reason for automating this door.

Oh interesting, I haven't dealt with any codes for self closing doors out here. I live in Florida as well. I guess it's one of those quietly enforced things.