Reach for the adjective intermittent to describe periodic movement and stopping and starting over a period of time.
The adjective intermittent modifies things that work or stop and start at periodic intervals. An interesting use of something intermittent is a metronome, a device that marks off time in music by making a sound in a regular pattern. It provides structure for musicians, especially when there are several instruments all playing different melodies at the same time. Other intermittent things are the windshield wipers on your car and thank goodness for them when it rains!