Hanso

Sioux.NET on Track, a fully automated train layout, version Lego World

Recommended Posts

Sioux.NET on Track is a group of enthusiastic colleagues who come together after working hours to get experience with Microsoft.NET. To make learning fun, we develop an application in C# for making a full automated Lego train, using Lego Mindstorms and Lego Power functions. The layout is always shown at Lego World in the Netherlands.

Our plans for 2016 have been published at our blog: siouxnetontrack.wordpress.com as well as an article about the new updated crane positioning. You can also view a video at our Youtube channel about the power chain systems:

Enjoy,

Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The power chain system has been redesigned to make it more 'lightweight', see the following LDD sketch and photo of the proof of concept. The needed bricks are in back order.24267288735_a704ff4916_c.jpg24159202242_17792c2b2d_c.jpg

More information about designing the power chain system can be found at our blog: siouxnetontrack.wordpress.com.

Enjoy,Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Lego World 2016, we have planned to pickup and hand over the candy tickets using a vacuum grabber. In this video you see a working proof of concept. It show that the principle works already with one pneumatic pump to create the vacuum. We have now ordered more parts to triple this grabber to create more vacuum.

24635621776_74184a076d_z.jpg

More photo's can be found here, the video is on our

channel.

More information about the technique behind this vacuum grabber, can be found on our blog: siouxnetontrack.wordpress.com.

Enjoy.

/Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And see what a simple gear acceleration can do:

/Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new video has been uploaded to our Youtube channel about the candy crane version 2016:

  • Improved grabber
  • More robust look
  • Power chains

Click on the photo below to watch the video:

Enjoy, Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The candy crane has been improved and changes, photo's can be found on our Flickr page.

25244849371_e7f7e1685a_z.jpg

Improvements:

  • The power chain of the hoist was based on the track elements 57518. For the hoist this worked fine, but the concept didn't work for the crane body. I designed another power chain as you can read in the forum thread. This same design is now used for the hoist. This design is much more elegant than the previous one.
  • The touch sensors at the crane body are used to check if the crane reaches the end of the track. The old position was that low, that the red button just touched the base plate. When the crane moves, you heard a ticking sound. By moving the sensors one up, this problem is solved. Of course, the stops at the end are heightened as well with 2/3 brick.

24711176873_13f8d8c452_z.jpg

Changes:

  • In the 2015 layout, the train drove backwards until it reached the bumpers. A major advantage was that the train position was always the same (give or take a centimeter). In the 2016 layout, the train needs to stop within a range of a couple of centimeters (we need to figure out how, we have some ideas about that). But still, the crane needs to know where the wagons are positioned.
  • In order to do that, the train will have at the end a wagon that the train can use to determine the train location. A ultrasonic sensor is used to locate this wagon. From that point, the crane can be locating the other wagons just by moving a specific amount of rotations.

Enjoy!

/Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we started in 2011 with our group Sioux.NET on Track, the base functionality has kept the same: visitor of Lego World can choose a color, train is picking up the candy in the desired color and delivers it to the visitor. Choosing the color needs a color selector, which we call the "Physical User Interface" or in short "PUI". In the picture below, you'll find an overview of the PUI's that we build for Lego World 2012 - 2015:

26987677756_e1fa5f037f_z.jpg

For Lego World 2016, we came up with the idea of making a "Wheel of fortune": give the wheel a swing and the color will be the one where the wheel stops. This is how it looks in LDD (Lego Digital Designer):

26973487696_26373ee4c4_z.jpg

What still needs to be added, is the Mindstorms EV3 with color sensor to read the actual 'selected' color.

For the real thing, I still need to order some parts. But you get a good impression what the result will be at the following photo and video:

26973494566_fecdeac4f8_z.jpg

I'll keep you posted.

Enjoy, Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today, I have added the Mindstorms sensors to read the color:

The free wheel mechanism has been improved (made stronger):

27024746916_8d0f5260c3_z.jpg

Now I've just to wait for the missing pieces to finish the supporting structure.

Enjoy,

Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a pretty interesting concept. I will make sure to check it out at Legoworld!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How it is going with the vacuum grabber?

Like a real project, we have a list of tasks to perform. With a 'hard' target of the demo at Lego World. The vacuum grabber is currently not at the top of the list, I need to finish the Delivery Station first: everything is read apart from the four lockers that still needs to be designed. After that, I will continue working on the vacuum grabber. I'll keep you posted.

/Hans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uploaded some new images of the (almost) finished Delivery Station for Lego World 2016 at our Flickr page: https://flic.kr/s/aHskxcfwSV .

26567173894_d423e4debd_z.jpg

Only the four lockers need to be build (and first need to be designed ;-).

Enjoy!

/Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday, I received the last batch of missing bricks and finalized building the Color Selector. So, I now proudly present the finished Color Selector that will be used as the 'physical user interface' for Lego World 2016.

27202366886_cb0ca667dd_z.jpg

More photo's can be viewed at our Flickr page: https://flic.kr/s/aHskAfyhDv and videos can be found at our Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.c...siouxnetontrack.

Enjoy,

Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the missing elements of the layout, were the lockers that store the candy just before delivering it to the visitors. I was looking for an interesting door mechanism and one of the team members came up with the idea of an iris.

Below you find the work in progress. The four locker doors can be opened/closed separately. An infrared sensor is used to determine if the visitor's hand has been retracted.

27751368293_bc10aa730f_z.jpg

Opening and closing of the door that works like an iris, can be viewed at our Youtube page:

More photos of the Work in Progress at our Flickr page: https://flic.kr/s/aHskA82jPV

Waiting for some pieces (in back order) to finish building the doors.

Please let me know what you think.

Enjoy, Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting build! have been following your posts for a while, and always enjoy the updates! :)

Thank you for your very nice compliment.

/Hans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear all,

Our visit at Lego World 2016 in Utrecht (the Netherlands) is approaching really fast now. And we haven't finished building (both the constructions as the software). Like almost any "real" project, we need to get into overtime modus ;-)

Anyway, the layout has been planned to perform as follows:

  1. The visitor chooses a color using the Wheel-of-Fortune color selector (click
    for a video impression)
  2. The Ticket Dispenser Unit picks up one ticket from the stack. I am planning to use a vacuum grabber for this, a proof of concept can be seen
    .
  3. The ticket contains a number that can be read by the TPU-reader (see below for the proof-of-concept).
  4. The ticket is now handed over to the visitor. The chosen color is now coupled to the ticket and the visitor can see the progress of the candy pickup at the monitor.
  5. This process is repeated four times: the train will deliver four candies in one run. Indeed, new functionality to speed up the process. More speed means more happy kids.
  6. During the process of handling the four visitors choice, the candy factory has already started and delivers the candy in the chosen colors to the candy crane in a container.
  7. The candy crane puts the container in an empty wagon in the awaiting train. The train pulls four wagons and the crane will load them all before it leaves the crane section. An impression how the crane picks up a container and loads the train, can be seen
    .
  8. The train drives to the delivery station. The four containers are pushed to the rollers. Click
    for an impression of the push mechanism.
  9. The containers are lifted to the separation mechanism: the candies are removed from the container and moved to the lockers. Click
    for the lift mechanism and
    for the lockers.
  10. Finally, the four visitors can one by one insert their ticket into the ticket reader, click
    for a video of the ticket reader. The ticket reader opens the correct locker and the visitor can grab his candy.
  11. Done.

To make all of the above happen, a total of 1 NXT brick and 11 EV3 bricks plus a laptop with a software application (written in C#) is needed.

I'm not sure if we will finish the ticket dispense unit in time. As a fallback, that will be done by the operator. However, the card (number) needs to be read in order to make the coupling between the chosen color and the ticket. That part of the TPU is now being developed. The first prototype looks as follows (click the image for a video):

Enjoy,

Hans

Edited by Hanso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ticket Dispense Unit (reader part) is ready:

29356132853_0a472c7675.jpg

An article about the principles of the ticket reader can be found at our blog: https://siouxnetontrack.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/ticket-dispense-unit-reader. On Youtube you can find a video of the working reader part. The dispense part will probably not be ready before Lego World. Focus is now on getting everything working as a whole.

Enjoy,

Hans

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.