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About Hanso

  • Birthday 09/27/66

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  1. I proudly present: the complete and working Automatic Candy Sorter. From left to right: The candy is dispensed from the Candy Dispense Unit, one candy at a time. The conveyor belt moves the candy to the Color Check Unit (a Pixycam) to determine the color. This information will be passed to the PC application, in this subsystem it has no further function After the color has been determined, the candy is moved to the bucket of the Trebuchet. The Trebuchet launches the candy into the Catching Funnel. Earlier, a candy container has been placed directly under the Catching Funnel by the Container Conveyor. The container-with-candy is then moved to the Warehouse section. This will be my next project. (click on the picture to see more photos on Flickr) Please note: I have already a Proof of Concept of the Warehouse, you can read more about this here. Enjoy, Hans
  2. To make sure that there is only and exactly only one container under the funnel, I extended the conveyor rollers so that there will be a queue of empty containers. The conveyor rollers consist of three sections A, B and C. I use two color sensors to detect a container, sensor #1 (directly under the funnel) and #2 (middle section): When an empty container is needed under the funnel, section B and C are powered. The containers now move from the right to the left, towards the funnel. When sensor #2 reads a container, section C is stopped. This means, there is now only exactly one container in the middle section B. Section B continues to be powered, until sensor #1 reads the container. Because section A is unpowered, the container is always moved exactly under the funnel. After the candy has been thrown into the container, section A is powered. Now the filled container moves to the left (and to the warehouse, see this thread) And the video: Enjoy, Hans
  3. The funnel is ready. A video of the trebuchet and the catching funnel: I have tested the trebuchet and funnel for +/- 50 times. In three cases, the candy didn't end in the container (because it hit the container that hard, that it bounced out of it). I already made a sliding part to slow down the candy, which works fine but obviously not 100% guaranteed. So suggestions to slow the candy even more are welcome.
  4. You mean the same mechanism as I used in the Candy Trebuchet (click here for the thread)? Yes, that could also work for driving the wheel but I wanted to use a free-wheel mechanism since that saves me an extra motor.
  5. I am truly sorry, but I don't know what you mean. Hope you can explain a bit further. Meanwhile, I designed two start/stop buttons myself. Pressing the blue starts spinning of the wheel, the red button stops the motors. A timer mechanism makes sure that you cannot press the red button too early (well, you can, but it doesn't stop the wheel immediately). And if you don't press the red button at all, the wheel will stop spinning after a pre-specified time-out.
  6. Thanks. Any suggestions for designing the start and stop buttons?
  7. For those who have not following my topics, a small introduction about Sioux.NET on Track, a large full automated Lego candy factory, trains, lots of Mindstorms EV3 and all controlled by a Microsoft C# application. Every year, we show our layout at Lego World in Utrecht, the Netherlands. You can watch videos on our Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/user/siouxnetontrack) with the progress of all the updates and changes we make and you can also watch a video of the layout at Lego World. The video from 2017 and 2016: We always have an interface to the visitor, the so called 'PUI' which is an abbreviation for Physical User Interface. The visitor can choose the color of the candy (s)he wants to be delivered. The colors red, green, blue and yellow can be chosen. Okay, okay, its is more purple than blue. But in our layout, that is the blue candy ;-) Through the years, we have had several types of PUI's: In 2016 and 2017 we used a so called Wheel of Fortune as the color selector: The visitor had to pull the lever, making the wheel rotate. For an adult, this works fine. But lots of our visitors are little children, who have never seen a wheel of fortune. So some children pushed the lever, some pulled it but now hard enough and some children thought they had to pull the lever and push it down until it would touch the floor. Sometimes, I really thought the Lego would crack but fortunately it survived the hundreds of enthousiastic kids. For Lego World 2018, we've made an update of the Wheel of Fortune. Instead of a lever, we decided to use a motor for the rotation. But I found out that this was easier said than done. The main problem is the weight of the wheel, it needs quite some torque to start rotating. Plus I needed a free-wheel mechanism: when the motor turns, the wheel should turn. But when the motor stops, the wheel should keep rotating until it is stopped by the pointer. I first used the free-wheel mechanism from the lever: However, he torque was too much for this free-wheel mechanism. So, I started looking on the internet for a more powerful version. On the Youtube page of William Sargeant, I found a version that looked more firm. I made two of these and in combination with two EV3 L motors it is powerful enough to spin the wheel. Apart from that, I mixed the colors in the wheel. The result: And of course a video: I need to design two buttons that will be controlled by the visitor. A green button to start rotating the wheel and a red button that stops the wheel. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for reading and watching. Enjoy, Hans
  8. I have made a more attractive version (i.e. to my opinion ;-) of the Candy Trebuchet. Please let me know what you think of it. Best, Hans
  9. In the starting of this thread, I mentioned three builds to be engineered: A candy feeding mechanism. I need a mechanism that feeds one candy at a time to a conveyor belt. Color detection. The color of the candy needs to be determined. Systems that puts the candy into a container. The first and second item have been designed, but the third one still needed to be done. One of the possibilities was to have a container 'waiting' at the end of the conveyor belt and once the candy has been dropped into the container, it needed to be lifted on the rollers that would move the container-with-candy to the warehouse. A proof of concept can be viewed on Youtube: In one of our meetings, one of the team members came with the idea to use a Trebuchet (see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet) to throw the candy into a container. The main problem was, how to make the trebuchet that raising the beam could be done completely automatically. Connecting a motor to the beam is the easy part, but how to release the beam? I found the solution in the elements that are typically used in technic models to make a gear box or to have several functions with one motor: the change-over catch (6641), driving ring (6539) and clutch gear (6542). In the picture below you see how I made the beam completely working automatically: A first prototype was quickly made: And I connected the second version to the conveyor belt of the candy sorter: The only part that I now have to make, is a funnel to catch the candies. I'm thinking of the elements (32939) that are used in the Carousel 10257. In fact, exactly like the roof but then upside down. But maybe I may end up with a completely different funnel. Will keep you posted. Enjoy, Hans
  10. Yes, there is a team behind the layout. And thank you for your very kind words. Regards, Hans
  11. For Lego World 2018, we are planning to have two trains running on the layout. The trains will drive in oppossite directions. One train will - like the other years - deliver the candy to the visitor, the second train will return the empty containers. This new functionality needs to be designed, other members of the team are busy with that. The trains drive in opposite directions. We could have made two train ovals, that would a very easy solution to prevent the trains running into eachother. By making a part of the layout a single track only, we add additional complexity. A testrun of two trains on a single track can be viewed on Youtube: In the test setup, I didn't use a PC for controlling the two trains. A third EV3 brick (visible in the middle of the track) was programmed as controller and the two train EV3 bricks were connected by bluetooth as the two slaves. By sending messages to the trains back and forth, the trains were prevented to run into eachother. The controller program was quite simple: it sends a start command to train #1 and waits until it receives a message back that train #1 is at the waiting point and gives the start command to train #2. It then waits again until it receives from train #2 the message that it has arrived at the waiting point. This sequence is repeated. The train itself starts driving when it receives the start message. It continues driving until the color sensor 'reads' the red tiles that are built-in in the track. It stops the train and sends a message to the controller brick that it has arrived at the waiting point. Both trains run exactly the same software. Easy as that ;-) Enjoy, Hans
  12. Yes, very sad indeed :-). But the good news is, that the few compliments like yours give me a very, very big smile! Thanks. Yes, it did. I have an unlisted video (timelapse) of a test where I ran the new mechanism for over an hour: Thanks, these kind of replies keep me going.
  13. In the picture below, you see one of the three arms of the delta crane. As you can see, two Lego turntables (per arm) are used to make the hinge movement, two gears 32270 are used to transfer the motor power to the turntables. During the build phase, I tested (of course) the construction. Everything worked fine. But, at Lego World 2017, the crane had to make ~ 300 movements per hour! After 10 hours of flawless movements, the gears of one arm (the one that made the largest movemnets) began to slip. Causing a lot of noise ("rattling sound"), but worse: the arm didn't return to its home position (= up). The team made a smart work-around by adding some bricks to the arm, so that it reached the touch sensor earlier. Now we're back from Lego World, I redesigned the robot arms. Instead of using gears, I use a worm gear for the transfer of the motor power. The arm now looks like this: A short video of the updated delta robot: As I am writing this text, I am performing an endurance test to see if I notice some differences after 1½ hours of continues movements. Until now, everything seems to work fine. More to come later .. Enjoy, Hans
  14. A video impression of our visit to Lego World 2017 in Utrecht has been uploaded to our Youtube channel. And a time lapse video of the third day of our visit to Lego World: If you like our train layout, please like our video. Enjoy, Hans
  15. Since 2011, our large fully automated train layout will be displayed at Lego World 2017. In several subtopics, you could have read about the building of the delta crane, the train controlled by a Mindstorms EV3 and much more. A video of our layout in 2016 has been watched almost 30.000 times. For 2017, the train layout consists of 12 Mindstorms EV3 bricks and 1 Mindstorms NXT: 1x Train (EV3) 1x Delta Crane (EV3) 1x Wheel of Fortune (EV3) 1x Ticket Dispenser (EV3) 4x Delivery station (EV3) 1x Ticket reader (EV3) 1x Delta crane (EV3) 2x Container and Candy dispenser (EV3) 1x Air compressor (NXT) All the EV3 bricks are controlled by a Microsoft .NET application, written in C#. We are now in the phase of integrating the Lego builds and fine-tuning the software. Click on the picture below to surf to our Flickr page and you can watch a video on Youtube to see a full test run. The layout will be displayed at Lego World 2017 in Utrecht, the Netherlands from Wednesday 18 - Saturday 21 October 2017. Regards, Hans