For the version of Lego World 2015, we are planning to have an automatic loading system for the Candy Crane. At the 2014 version, the candy had to be placed manually at the time the visitor requested a color. The video below is a proof of concept for the transporting mechanism.
Eventually, the candy transporter system consist of four lanes aligned as a square, a loading lane and a pickup lane. It will look something like:
The operator can insert new candies in candy trays at the Operator Loading Dock, the trays will then be moved to the stock square where they keep on rotating in the stock lanes. At the Crane Pickup Position, all four candy colors will be available at all times. Once the crane has picked up a candy, the empty tray will need to be removed and a new (full) tray in the same color will be moved from the Rotating Candy Stock to the Pickup Location. Note that the order of the colors at the Pickup location is therefor always different. The EV3 brick or the PC application will have to keep track of the order of the candy colors and to inform the crane about these color positions.
The transporter mechanism for the stock lanes works, as shown in the Proof of Concept. Now we only have to figure out:
- An easy loading mechanism at the loading lane;
- A switch to move a tray from the stock lanes to the pickup lane;
- A way to remove an empty tray from the pickup lane.
Stay tuned …