I am trying to design a robot to lift tote-crates and transport them around in a localized area. I want to be able to carry 3 tote-creates at a time. This robot needs to be able to pickup the creates. I only want the robot to carry three at a time so keep is small and mobile. I was thinking of a design with a central lift that could carry the crates. What would you suggest as a simple ingenious way to create this robot?
The simplest way? Every crate has its own wheels and motor. In other words one robot per crate. I bet that in some cases this is lower cost. It certainly lowest the design complexity.
The other design is a "travel lift". These are used on boat and lumber yards. You would build a smaller version. It is the shape of an inverted "U" with four wheels. It looks like an overhead crane, the kind the runs on an overhead I-bean track but the I beam is on wheels. Then you place three lifts on you mobile I-beam track. The robot could stores three crates, if the I-beam where longer it could store more.
You crate ned a handle that a lift can capture. A magnet might help to initially align the parts and then close a mechanical latch.
like the one robot per crate idea as being fool proof simple.