It has been quite a while that I have posted an article about our large train layout. But that doesn’t mean that there was no activity. For example, we have made some major updates to the software application and all EV3’s are now running on EV3DEV.
With respect to new builds, I have been working on the new Lockers (you can see the result on Youtube) and on the Container Spiral Storage. In the pictures below you can see some pictures of the creation of this new build. I will soon write a longer article about the birth of the container spiral storage and the challenges I have faced during the build.
Stay tuned …
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.
A monorail without a switch track is not a real monorail 😉
I have been working on an automatic switch for the Lego Mindstorms EV3 monorail. The idea is that there will be a monorail track on our layout with two reverse loops. The loops will each have a switch and the train will need to set the switch in the right position. One reverse loop will be at the delivery station, where the empty containers can be loaded onto the monorail. And the second reverse loop will be at the Candy warehouse, where the empty containers will be dropped. For this year, the (un)loading of the empty containers will be manually. It just saves time to walk between the two locations with the empty containers. Yes, I know this sounds lazy and yes, it is.
In the video below, you see version 1.0 of the automated switch. Currently, the switch is powered by a PF motor. The train was simply programmed to run and switch direction when it noticed a the green tile (on the left, not visible in the video), a red or a yelow tile. Meanwhile, I was operating the switch with a PF remote control.
The next update will be a finished reverse loop, including a second EV3 that controls the switch. The train-EV3 will communicate with the Switch-EV3 to set it in the right position.
A new video of the work-in-progess of the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Monorail, has been uploaded to Youtube.
Enjoy the video and please leave a comment if you have suggestions. Compliments are welcome too ;-).
I wrote a small test program for the robot arm to load the train with two containers. Loading the two wagons was done in one minute, so much faster than the candy crane.
Have a look at the video and please share with me what you think of it.
I have written a small test program for picking up a container from a pre-defined place. It is still a bit slow, but it works.
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.
Continue reading “Ticket Dispenser Unit (complete), version 2017”
A video impression of our layout at Lego World Utrecht 2016 has been uploaded to our Youtube channel.