Electric Refrigerator Door Opener

Some refrigerator doors require a significant amount of force to crack open due to various mechanisms including magnets in the seals. Depending on an individual’s ability, it may be too difficult for them to open the door. I decided to see if I could create a motorized door opener that was easy to use and simple to install. Here is a video about 2 versions I created using mostly parts I had on hand.

Both versions simply attach to the refrigerator with magnets. A metal bracket hooks over the edge to prevent sliding across (or off) the surface during use. Once attached the remaining task is to route the wires out of the way of the mechanism and the door. Once placement is decided, the wires can be pinned down with magnets or tape for example.

The version I’ve attached to the freezer door uses a servo and gearbox ($100) to drive the arm that cracks the door open.
https://www.servocity.com/html/spg5685a-cm-360_servo_gearbox.html

The version I’ve attached to the fridge door uses a linear actuator ($40) to more directly push the door and crack it open.
http://www.windynation.com/Linear-Actuators/Windy-Nation/Linear-Actuators-various-stroke-lengths/-/244

These are the magnets I used since they were strong enough, I had them on hand, and they had a tapped hole which made it easy to bolt the motors to them. ($12 each)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bolt-Retrieving-Magnets-with-Plastic-Cover-96574/203613182

All the bracketing I used came from this collection:
https://www.servocity.com/html/actoboticstm.html

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You can grab the code I used for this project here:
https://github.com/bobparadiso/RefrigeratorDoorOpeners

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