You may not know it, but electromechanical linear actuators are responsible for making the power windows in your car move up and down. The mechanics are actually quite simple once you understand how actuators work.
Motorized actuators take rotary motion and employ it as linear motion. For example, a traveling nut actuator uses a motor to turn the lead screw. The lead nut is attached to the lead screw and does not spin, but moves in a linear motion on the lead screw. This provides the necessary up and down motion to move objects creating automation and motion control.
This is the principle behind how the power windows in your car operate. However, in the case of power windows, the set up is a bit more complicated. There are mini actuators inside your car doors. They work like the traveling nut actuator except they use a worm gear as well as several other gears, to increase the travel length of the nut and still take advantage of the actuator’s small size.
The worm gear is the mechanism that prevents your power window from being forced open. Any kind of force creates friction on the teeth of the gears which causes them to bind and lock.
The glass of your car door windows is basically placed on top of traveling nut actuators which move up and down depending on whether the switch is hit to activate the motor on the actuators. When the window is in the down position, the nut on the mini actuators is also in the down position. When you hit the button on your door, the mini actuators are turned on, the nut moves up the screw shaft, and the gears begin to move.