(Almost) Final version of the new container loader

In the video, you see the (almost) final version of the container loader. The only thing that is missing, is the power cable carrier.

What is new in this version (apart from finishing the build)? First of all, it has been added to the ‘real’ conveyor belt (you can see the enormous length ;-). This conveyor belt moves the containers from the warehouse to the wagons.

Furthermore, an ultrasonic sensor has been added at the top of the super structure. This ultrasonic sensor detects if a container has passed under it, so it ‘knows’ that after 1 second it can set its state to ‘container delivered’. Without this sensor, the only way to ‘ensure’ if the container has been loaded, was to use a predefined time frame. A predefined time frame has two major drawbacks: you need a very long time to make sure that the container has arrived. And you can not guarantee that the container will be delivered, no matter how long you define the time frame. You can see the ultrasonic sensor detection in close up around time frame 0:45.

Pneumatic compressor for the 6-axis robot arm with auto start/stop

The grabber of the robot arm is opened and closed by pneumatic pressure. Therefore, I needed an air compressor that can generate a pressure of approx. 20 – 30 Psi. But how do you manage this air pressure? If the motor keeps running, the air pressure becomes too high. If you switch the motor on and off manually, you need to stay alert and watch the manometer if the air pressure doesn’t become too low. The solution: build an automatic start/stop system. In this article you can read how I achieved this.

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How to? EV3’s in Daisy Chain mode plus WiFi

If you have two or more Lego Mindstorms EV3’s in daisy chain mode, it is not possible to use a Wifi connection with the EV3 as well. For our project, we need this functionality. Two embedded software engineers in our team are now updating the firmware to make this work. But are we going to be in time….? From a project management perspective, it is always wise to have a fallback scenario. But is there one….?

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Sioux.NET on Sidetrack…. something completely different

Within our fully automated train project Sioux.NET on Track, we are starting a new sideproject called Sioux.NET on Sidetrack.

Continue reading “Sioux.NET on Sidetrack…. something completely different”

Ticket Dispenser Unit (complete), version 2017

As you can read in the first article about the Ticket Dispenser Unit (click here for the article), the version for Lego World 2016 a ‘fast build’. Nevertheless, it worked almost flawless. Almost … sometimes the card was not transported to the end. With just some small modifications, it works even better now.
Ticket Dispenser Unit (LDD)

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Lego World 2016, here we come …

Lego World Utrecht 2015

Sioux.NET on Track will be showing their layout at Lego World 2016 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The layout will be present on Saturday Oct 22 until Monday Oct 24.

This year, the layout will be controlled by 13 Mindstorms bricks (1 x NXT and 12 x EV3). Four visitors in a row can choose a color and the train is getting them in one run. New items in 2016: completely redesigned candy factory, candy crane with power chains, redesigned delivery station and much more.

Videos of the building in progress can be viewed at the Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/siouxnetontrack.