Electrical vs Mechanical
When it comes to hands-on exhibits, I usually favor mechanical solutions over electrical because mechanical methods are more obvious to the user, often allow for wider exploration, and often require less maintenance. However, there are times when circuits make sense. I have the ability to design and implement simple circuits, including PCB design and integration with consumer/commercial electronics.
I was tasked with creating a camera setup that would allow visitors to remotely view birds at a feeder. Unable to find a kid-proof control interface, I created a controller that allows a pair of Suzo Happ analog joysticks to control a Sony EVID70 commercial grade pan-tilt-zoom camera.
The software allows a technician to easily change various parameters (such as maximum zoom, pan/tilt ranges) with a laptop via a serial interface.
If you would like to examine my code, please see this ZIP file. Contents are in .INO (Arduino) format.