I read an answer from rfusca about how to make a mechanical shutter release for the Panasonic DMC-FZ40. I can picture what you're saying in my head but I'm not sure what parts to buy. There are a ton of shutter release cables on the market, and as for the servo and microcontroller...I don't know where to even start.
I like your idea...a pretty cool work-around. Will you please provide some options for the parts you think will work? Some specific manufacturer/model/part numbers? And can you provide a bit more instructional detail please? I won't have a problem putting it together; I've built laser systems in a past career so I'm pretty sure I can make this work.