How to build your own automatic Star Trek door for your home

Arguably one of the coolest features of the Star Trek universe is the automatic doors that open and close automatically. The doors also had a manual feature, as shown in this short clip from the series:

What is going on behind the scenes to make this door operate? It is using pneumatics, so it likely looks almost exactly like this, using two long pneumatic cylinders and an air compressor to drive them:

A little more detail on the pneumatics of a system like this:

The other way to do this kind of thing is to use a motor instead of pneumatics. If you search for “motorized pocket doors” on Google, these are actually fairly common. Here is one installation, using motion sensors to automatically open the door:

You can find details on this door here:

People also DIY their doors:

Of course you could also go a step beyond Star Trek, with a door like this:

An alternative approach: a trap door operated by pneumatics:

See also:
A different way to build a house #43 – Adding secret passages and hidden rooms to a house
A different way to build a house #50 – Build yourself a Ninja house, or add Ninja features to an existing home

Other House Ideas