As part of our fully automated train layout (see more at our blog here: siouxnetontrack.wordpress.com), I have started to build a fully automated container warehouse. The warehouse should be able to store a large number of candy containers. I want to build four rows with shelves to store the containers, served by two robots that can store and retrieve the containers. The first thing I needed is to build the vertical lift for the stacker crane. I looked at other builds and found out that there are three possible mechanisms to create the vertical movement: Gears climbing a toothed bar (element 3743), a nice example can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GToA2tOVyHg
Cables pulling the lift up, an example can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCNwQVjXz60 Chain links, an example that uses the small elements 3711 can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQIAAb8x8MI
And as you may have guessed, I have tried something different. I use the worm gears (element 4716) to get the vertical movement, this is the first test setup:   If you stack the elements 4716 on top of each other, they should be aligned correctly to create one, long worm gear.     I just finished a first prototype of the stacker crane. The crane has two forks, in order to store or retrieve a container from either the left row or the right row. The lift can move up and down, the (horizontal) movement along the row needs to be build. One EV3 M motor is used to move the forks either to the left or to the right. It uses a color sensor to determine the middle position.
One EV3 L motor is used for the vertical movement. A touch sensor is used to detect the bottom position. Watch the video to see a demo:   More details will be added later. Enjoy watching and please let me know what you think. Hans