I am building an Arcade cabinet with a 3-sided rotating control panel. I want the rotation of the control panel will be automated. Here's a render:
However, I have a problem: locking the control panel in place. It needs to be able to hold in place against the force of players leaning on the control panel (and angry players pounding on it). It also needs to have no play and feel very solid. It can't be rocking while players are pushing the joystick up and down (some people push somewhat hard). The front panel prevents it from rotating forward, but there is nothing preventing it from rotating backwards. Note that this will be made from wood in my shop, so exact tolerances can not be expected (may be off by up to 1/8"-1/4").
I created a test setup for my original idea that used a tension latch to secure the control panel to the front. That worked well, but I would like the whole thing to be automated. Here's a video of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK2Xa4psLp0
I have had a couple ideas but I am not sure how feasible they are or exactly how to implement them.
One idea was to use an indexing/dividing head like the one in my lathe. The rod that locks it in place could be automated via an actuator or something. But, I am not sure how to obtain one. I don't have the tools to machine anything.
Another was to use a worm screw to drive the rotation of the control panel as I have read they are supposed to provide holding strength. However, I am not sure how much holding strength and how much play will be present.
I thought about an electromagnetic brake, but I think one that would provide enough force would be way too big (and could interfere with the CRT).
I also figured solutions could be combined. One component could be responsible from preventing the control panel from turning freely under large forces (like leaning/pounding) and another component could be used to prevent the control panel from rocking due to the smaller forces (like pushing on the joystick).
I assume the problem of holding a rotating joint in place is one that has been readily solved by robotics. But I am a babe in the woods with this stuff and I have not been able to find a good solution in my research. I am completely new to automation/ME. Please let me know if there is a better place to post this question and sorry if this is not the correct place.
Edit: While posting this I had another idea: is there a way to automate the tension latch?