I spent the day messing around with prismatic joints and have created a button, a door, and a wire control. The button is a simple prismatic joint that is jointed with the bottom edge of my world's arena (hence the joint line you see in the debug rendering). I give it a vector that indicates you need to push down on it to activate. I made this as a class that contains some hysteresis and other modifiers that can potentially be affected by other elements in the game. It has a small motor defined to act as the 'spring' up (ie. button not pushed). Also included is a method that updates the button state -- it checks the translation to see if the button is pressed or not.
The door is very similar, but instead contains the 'openSesame' and 'closeSesame' methods. The motor in this case is always pushing out initially. When the openSesame method is invoked, the motor speed is reversed and the door opens up. When the closeSesame method is invoked, the motor speed is positive and the door closes. The graphics below demonstrate a retractable ledge in the upper left corner using this concept (button is in the mid-right portion).
The final component is the wire control. It's the "go between" for the button and the door. It is created and passed references to controlling buttons and controlled doors. Its update() method is invoked on a periodic basis. If it detects that its button is pressed, the corresponding door is then opened. Pretty straightforward. The screenshots below also show a couple of objects I made to kick around in the world: a box and a ball.