If you go with a pulley system the trouble is that you have to move a certain way everytime you want to deploy them. There are some great books on arduino. The Arduino cookbook volume1,2, i think 3. Now if i recall you live in the Greater Toronto Area. Go to Creatron.inc the Scarborough location i think there on Sheppard ave. East you can get a starters kit that comes with a starters book an arduino uno, led's 1 servo a sensor. They sell a ton of goodies. I got the starters kit for under $100.
Nitinol a nickel-titanium metal that under one temp can hold one shape, but under another temp set back to it's original form. Thus calling it memory metal. With respect and i just may not be getting the point. How is this going to work for what he needs? Why not just go with a bicycle gear cable? Your explanation maybe something that i have'nt considered, and i would be very intersted in reading it. Thanx in advance...GM
nitinol wire can be used to move small pieces with an electric current. Its not good for holding things in a position but to move a articulting flap (like the original start up sequence) I think it would work. its smaller and easier to conceal than cables and can doesnt need a servo or hand moving to move it. bike or shielded cables could be used in a lot of the thicker pieces like the chest and shoulders.