WO2020190132A1 - A mobile storage module for storing a multiplicity of objects, in particular vehicles, therein - Google Patents

A mobile storage module for storing a multiplicity of objects, in particular vehicles, therein Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2020190132A1
WO2020190132A1 PCT/NL2020/050173 NL2020050173W WO2020190132A1 WO 2020190132 A1 WO2020190132 A1 WO 2020190132A1 NL 2020050173 W NL2020050173 W NL 2020050173W WO 2020190132 A1 WO2020190132 A1 WO 2020190132A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
carrier
parking
storage module
frame
arm
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/NL2020/050173
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Joannes Jacob Cornelis DE VRIES
Original Assignee
De Vries Joannes Jacob Cornelis
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to NL2022761 priority Critical
Priority to NL2022761A priority patent/NL2022761B1/en
Application filed by De Vries Joannes Jacob Cornelis filed Critical De Vries Joannes Jacob Cornelis
Publication of WO2020190132A1 publication Critical patent/WO2020190132A1/en

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H6/00Buildings for parking cars, rolling stock, aircraft, vessels or like vehicles, e.g. garages
    • E04H6/08Garages for many vehicles
    • E04H6/12Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H6/00Buildings for parking cars, rolling stock, aircraft, vessels or like vehicles, e.g. garages
    • E04H6/08Garages for many vehicles
    • E04H6/12Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles
    • E04H6/18Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H6/00Buildings for parking cars, rolling stock, aircraft, vessels or like vehicles, e.g. garages
    • E04H6/08Garages for many vehicles
    • E04H6/12Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles
    • E04H6/18Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions
    • E04H6/188Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions using only vertical transport means
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H6/00Buildings for parking cars, rolling stock, aircraft, vessels or like vehicles, e.g. garages
    • E04H6/08Garages for many vehicles
    • E04H6/12Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles
    • E04H6/18Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions
    • E04H6/22Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions characterised by the use of movable platforms for horizontal transport, i.e. cars being permanently parked on palettes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING, SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G1/00Storing articles, individually or in orderly arrangement, in warehouses or magazines
    • B65G1/02Storage devices
    • B65G1/026Racks equipped with a displaceable load carrying surface to facilitate loading or unloading

Abstract

The present invention relates to a mobile parking module, comprising: - a support structure comprising a base which is associated with a parking position and a frame which extends upward from the base and which defines a number of storage positions for storing vehicles therein, the storage positions being distributed over the height of the frame, - at least one carrier for carrying a vehicle, wherein the carrier is configured to be placed in one of the storage positions, - a lifting device for transporting the carrier and the vehicle supported by the carrier from the parking position to a storage position, characterised in that, - the lifting device is movably connected to the support structure, such that said lifting device can be moved up and down the frame along a trajectory that extends along the parking positions, the lifting device comprising: at least one arm having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein in side view the at least one arm extends over a horizontal distance in a forward direction outwardly from the frame, wherein the at least one arm extends in particular horizontally, wherein the arm is configured to carry the weight of the carrier and a vehicle, - one or more connectors configured to connect the lifting device to the carrier, - at least one connector drive for moving the connectors over a connector travel distance relative to the at least one arm, wherein the connectors are movable along the arm.

Description

Title: A mobile storage module for storing a multiplicity of objects, in particular vehicles, therein.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a mobile storing module for storing objects, in particular vehicles, therein and a method for using a mobile storing module. In particular the invention relates to such a storing module comprising a support structure that accommodates multiple storage positions, a lifting device and carriers for supporting an object, in particular a vehicle, used in conjunction to store objects in the storage positions.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In the last decades, the earth has seen a continuous increase in population. In many parts of the world, this increase has gone hand-in-hand with economic growth. Another trend that has been observed is one of ongoing technological advancement. Especially in developed parts of the world, it is now possible for a large part of the population to own products and systems that facilitate a more comfortable life.
For instance, owning an automobile is seen by many as the exemplary possession for freedom and prosperity. As a result, the market for passenger vehicles is large. All these vehicles require parking space. Although developments such as autonomous driving and the sharing economy are expected to reduce this demand in the longer term, the number of vehicles and therefore the demand for parking space is expected to continue to increase for some time.
The increase in wealth and the desire to live in the city has caused the price per square meter to rise considerably in many cities across the globe. Consequently, the costs of storing objects in cities are quite high. For vehicles this is no different, as parking fees, especially in city centres, have followed this trend. In order to accommodate more vehicles in these areas, efficient parking solutions are required.
Besides the number of assets owned by consumers, the number of businesses is growing in most parts of the world. Some of these businesses are active in projects that involve development and maintenance of for instance real estate, technical installations, etc. Such projects often involve a large number of objects going in and out of the project site, causing scarcity in the available space.
Demand for storage capacity however is not always constant. Large scale events or large construction projects, whether or not in urbanized areas, demand a large storage capacity for a relatively short duration. Storage solutions suited for these situations should therefore be quickly deployable and removable. Mobile and modular storing systems are required, especially for vehicles.
WO2015/070519 A1 discloses a two-level parking system comprising a foldable fixed parking structure, a movable parking structure (I) for lower level parking operations, and a movable parking structure (II) for upper level operations. The foldable structure comprises a base accommodating a lower level parking position, and a pair of support beams,
accommodating a upper level parking position. The foldable structure further comprises a ceiling structure and the pair of support beams are provided with grabbing hooks at their distal ends. These hooks are connected to a linear actuator, enabling them to move along the support beams in their longitudinal direction. Both the support beams and the ceiling structure are movably connected with a hinge to the right and left side of the structure, allowing them to be folded such that they lie parallel with the vertical members of the structure. Prior to a parking operation, a vehicle is provided onto a parking platform that lies on the upper level movable parking structure. The upper level movable parking structure is a risible platform with telescopically extendable legs on wheels in each of its corners when seen from top view. By using hydraulics, the movable parking structure lifts the parking platform to the required height, after which the grabbing hooks at the distal ends of the support beams are connected to the parking platform, and the parking platform is pulled into the foldable parking structure.
The fixed structure and the upper level movable structure are two separate entities. The disclosed system is therefore not modular. The installation procedure would comprise separately positioning the foldable structure and the upper level movable parking structure, where after both should be connected and hooked up to an available hydraulic circuit. Neither does WO2015/070519 A1 mention anything about being able to efficiently dismantle, store and transport the disclosed system when not in use.
A downside of the system disclosed in WO2015/070519 A1 is that it only
accommodates two parking positions. Due to the separate hydraulic lifting bridge, the fact that the grabbing hooks are integrated into the support beams, and the absence of means for coupling multiple systems in a modular way, makes this system unsuitable for upscaling. When the costs per parking position are considered therefore, this solution does not seem to be effective.
During operation, another difficulty that arises is the fact that when a parking platform supporting a vehicle should be pulled into or pushed out of a parking position, friction between the top of the support beams and the bottom of the parking platforms would cause considerable wear. Due to stick-slip phenomena at the interface of the beams and platforms, it is also expected that either relatively bulky actuators, or additional friction reducing measures would be required.
Further, the fact that the upward movement of the upper level movable parking structure is not guided by the foldable structure during a parking operation, makes that additional precautions should be taken to avoid dangerous situations. During the parking of a vehicle with this system, the movable parking structure carrying a parking platform and a vehicle, could move in any direction along the floor surface. In a context wherein passenger cars are dropped off at a high rate, this could result in dangerous situations.
Summarizing, the prior art discloses a system that is suboptimal regarding cost effectiveness, is cumbersome to install, remove and transport, and does not allow for an efficient and safe workflow.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention aims to at least partly overcome those disadvantages or to provide a usable alternative. In particular the invention aims to provide an affordable, mobile, modular and safe storage system. According to the invention, this aim is achieved by means of the storage module according to claim 1. This mobile storage module comprises a support structure comprising a base which is associated with a parking position and a frame which extends upward from the base over a height and which defines a number of storage positions for storing objects, in particular vehicles, therein, the storage positions being distributed over the height of the frame. The module further comprises at least one carrier for carrying an object, wherein the carrier is configured to be placed in one of the storage positions, and a lifting device, for transporting the carrier and the object supported by the carrier from the parking position to a storage position or vice versa. According to the invention, the lifting device is movably connected to the support structure, such that said lifting device is movable up and down the frame along a trajectory that extends along the parking positions, wherein the lifting device comprises at least one arm having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein in side view the at least one arm extends in a forward direction outwardly from the frame over a horizontal distance, and wherein the at least one arm is configured to carry the weight of the carrier and a vehicle positioned on the carrier. The lifting device further comprises one or more connectors, wherein the connectors are configured to connect the lifting device to the carrier, and at least one connector drive for moving the connectors over a connector travel distance relative to the at least one arm, wherein the connectors are movable along the arm between a forward position and a rearward position.
This module will result in more storage capacity for objects, that can be safely and cost effectively serviced, especially there where storage demand peaks momentarily.
This is partly due to the fact that the system may be integrated into a single module.
By having all elements of the system physically connected, installation times in certain conditions may be significantly reduced.
Another advantage is that by having the lifting device connected to the support structure, while limiting all degrees of freedom but the vertical one, is that the efficiency of operation may be improved. Since the lifting device as a whole is only movable up and down the support structure, no additional safety precautions are required during a storage or release operation. This allows for speeding up the operation, which may results in more operations per time unit and hence a higher operation efficiency.
Yet another advantage is that by having the lifting device comprise an arm, which is provided with connectors that are movable along the arm in a longitudinal direction, a single set of connectors would be required for being able to perform storage and release operations to/from a plurality of storage positions. This features makes that less movable parts and/or actuators are needed per module and that therefore the cost price and maintenance costs per module may be lower.
The fact that in an embodiment, the disclosed system does not require pulling the carrier over a beam surface while gradually shifting the load from the lifting device to the storage position, but fully supports a carrier with the connectors until placing it in a storage position, may also contribute to better a maintainability and therefore cost effectiveness.
All in all the module according to the invention may be significantly more mobile, modular, cost effective and safe than existing systems. In an embodiment, the lifting device may comprise a traveller which travels up and down along the frame and the at least one arm is pivotably connected to the traveller via a hinge at its proximal end. This hinged connection enables the arm to pivot back and forth relative to the traveller between a lifting position, wherein the arm is arranged perpendicular or substantially perpendicular to the frame, and a retracted position, wherein the arm is arranged parallel or substantially parallel to the frame or inclined at an angle of greater than 30 degrees to the horizontal.
By having a traveller perform the upward and downward movement of the carrier and vehicle from the parking position to a storage position and vice versa, a vehicle can be moved up to a storage position as fast as possible with a minimum of moving parts. Furthermore, the system can relatively easily be scaled up vertically without drastically changing the design or power ratings of on-board equipment.
In addition hereto, the fact that the arm is able to attain a substantially horizontal lifting position, a substantially vertical retracted position and one or more intermediate positions, allows for a more efficient operation process. When for instance a vehicle which needs to be stored approaches the parking position, and the traveller is in its lowest position, the arm can be moved to its intermediate or retracted position to provide passage to the vehicle.
Otherwise, the whole traveller including the arm would have to be moved up to allow passage, resulting a higher power consumption. Another advantage is that when the storage module is being dismantled or loaded onto a freight vehicle for transport, having the arm lie substantially parallel to the frame in their retracted position results in more convenient dimensions for handling. Besides, in this retracted position the arm and comprised elements are somewhat shielded for damage during handling and/or transport.
In an embodiment, the lifting device comprises a right arm and a left arm having an arm length and extending over a horizontal distance, each arm having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein when seen in front view the right arm is located on a right side of the frame and the left arm is located on a left side of the frame.
The advantage of having a right and a left arm is that the payload is distributed over both arms. Another advantage is that the carrier can more easily be supported on two sides, thereby adding to the safety and rigidity during operation. In an embodiment, wherein when seen in top view the traveller and the right and left arms may define a U-shape which extends around the frame, wherein when seen in top view the frame is located at a base of the U-shape.
An advantage of applying this design is that due to symmetry, a favourable division of forces can be attained. By reducing the torsion and shear forces exerted on the arms and hinges, this feature therefore may therefore allow for a more cost effective design.
In an embodiment, the mobile storage module may have at least one rail or a rack of a rack and pinion drive that extends over the height of the frame along a rear side of the frame or along a right and/or a left side of the frame.
This design has the advantage that the lifting device can be accurately moved up and down along each of the storage positions. Another advantage is that the system could be efficiently scaled up height wise, because the accuracy of rack and pinion typically does not decrease with increasing length.
In an embodiment, the carrier may be a rigid platform comprising protrusions, recesses and/or through holes, and the connectors may comprise connectors, in particular hooks, which are configured to fit into the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes of the carrier during a picking or placing operation of the lifting device.
An advantage of having a rigid platform is that relatively large loads can be supported. By using connectors that are configured to fit into the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes, the carriers supporting a vehicle can be securely connected to said connectors.
In an embodiment, the carrier may have the shape of a rectangle having two longer vertices and two shorter vertices, wherein the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes are provided along the shorter vertices of said carrier, and wherein seen in front view, a first short vertex of the carrier in a storage position is located on a left side of the frame and a second short vertex is located on the right side of the frame.
By using rectangle shaped carriers with the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes, at the head ends, the carriers are more efficient to handle. Partly this is because the carriers are symmetric and are therefore more straight forward to position correctly. By having the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes at the short vertices of the carriers, the picking and placing process can be executed more efficiently. This configuration namely enables the lifting device to pick up and lift the carrier stand alone, as both weight and torsion forces can be accommodated. No additional support is needed from other elements of the module during a storage or release operation.
In an embodiment, the mobile storage module may comprise a connector actuator for connecting and disconnecting the connectors from the carrier.
An advantage of having an actuator let the connectors engage the carrier is that the connectors can be separately controlled, and that the actuation of the connectors can be incorporated in an automated operation sequence.
In an embodiment, the frame may comprise one or more support beams at the height of each storage position, which project in a forward direction from the leg over a support beam length. The length of the at least one arm and the distance between the forward connector position and the leg may be greater than the length of the support beam and the width of the carrier.
An advantage of this is that it allows the carriers to be moved up and down in front of one or more storage positions which hold a carrier supporting a car.
In an embodiment, the frame may comprise a right leg and a left leg, wherein each storage position is defined by a right beam which protrudes over a horizontal distance from the right leg and by a left beam which protrudes over a horizontal distance from the left leg. In this arrangement, the right and left beam define a support surface on which the carriers with the vehicle can be placed.
An advantage of having two legs is that the loads, which arise during operation, can be better distributed over the support structure. This allows for a design with less material in the structural members, and therefor for a more light and cost effective design. Having support legs that define a support surface for placing the carriers thereon, has the added benefit of providing a passive means of supporting a carrier, with or without a vehicle, into a storage position.
In an alternative embodiment, each storage position may also comprise a protrusion which projects in a forward direction from the frame over a protrusion length. This protrusion length may be shorter than the support beam length, and there may be an interspace between the top of the support beam and the bottom of the protrusion. This interspace accommodates a carrier and allows for the carrier to be moved in between said support beam and said protrusion during the movement of the carrier from the forward position to the rearward position.
An advantage of this arrangement is that when the connectors have been disconnected from the carrier, the support beam provides an upwardly directed vertical counter force as to prevent the carrier and the vehicle from falling down, and the protrusion provides a downwardly, or substantially downwardly directed counter force to prevent the carrier and the vehicle from tipping out of a storage position by rotating around the distal end of the support beam.
In an embodiment, the mobile storage module may define a varying number of parking positions due to a scalable design. For example four parking positions can be
accommodated, or six parking positions.
An advantage of this flexibility in the number of parking positions is that the module can be adapted to meet different height dimension and capacity requirements.
In an embodiment, the parking position may have an entry side and an exit side which are open and configured be coupled with respectively an exit side and an entry side of a second mobile storage module which is positioned on the left or right side of the first mobile storage module.
An advantage of this feature is that the modules can be easily coupled by placing them adjacent to one another, allowing for more easily scaling up the parking capacity.
In an embodiment, the support structure may have a width of less than 260cm. The base of the support structure may also comprise foot supports which are extendable and retractable to the right, left and/or front side of the support structure. In the he retracted position of the foot supports the width of the support structure may be less than 300 cm, in particular less than 260 cm.
An advantage of having a support structure with a width of less than 260 cm, is that it can be easily loaded and unloaded onto a freight surface of a standard truck and/or semi trailer. This feature therefore improves the transportability of the module. Having extendable and retractable foot supports improves the stability of the module during operation. The foot supports therefore enhance the safety of the module and also contribute to its scalability. In an embodiment, the storage positions may be aligned above each other in a single column and each support beam or set of support beams positioned at a specific height of the frame may accommodate a single parking position.
In this arrangement of the parking positions, the module can have the smallest width possible when seen from the front.
In an embodiment, the module may be constructed to accommodate parking spaces only for passenger vehicles.
By especially focusing on storing passenger vehicles, the to be expected loads can be better predicted. Hence, the design can be optimized to cope with these loads.
In an embodiment, the connectors may be movable in the transverse direction between a lifting position and an idle position, in particular by pivoting about a connector pivot axis that extends horizontally in a forward direction, more in particular by pivoting about a connector pivot axis that is coaxial with an axis that extends through the centroids of the proximal end and distal end of the arm.
An advantage of being able to move the connectors between a lifting position, wherein the connectors are engaged with the carrier, and an idle position, wherein the connectors are free, is that may reduce the need for moving the lifting device as a whole for picking up a carrier.
In an embodiment, the parking position may be constructed forward of the storage positions.
An advantage of having the parking position in this arrangement is that it allows for a storage position at the base level. Besides, the lifting device can move directly upwards when a carrier supporting a vehicle has been picked from a parking position instead of first having to move the connectors to a forward position.
In an embodiment, a plurality of mobile storage modules may be placed in a row, wherein the respective parking positions also form a row and define a supply and discharge trajectory. This trajectory provides access to all modules in the row via the first and the last module of the row, and is in particular straight when seen from top view. Having a plurality of modules placed in a row, with the parking positions defining a straight supply and discharge trajectory, allows the modules to be efficiently placed on a target location that is long but narrow. For instance the modules could be placed on the side of a road, a sidewalk, or in an alleyway.
A plurality of pairs of two modules may also be placed in a row, wherein the modules of each pair are oriented with their front sides facing one another. In this arrangement, two modules of each pair may share their parking positions, defining a single supply and discharge trajectory which provides access to both modules of each pair.
The main advantage of this is that it allows for doubling the parking capacity without doubling the required surface area.
In an embodiment the module may comprise a conveyor which extends along the supply and discharge trajectory. This conveyor may be configured to convey the carrier supporting a vehicle over a horizontal distance along the supply and discharge trajectory.
An advantage of having a conveyor extending along the supply and discharge trajectory of a module, is that it allows for easily moving a carrier supporting a vehicle from an entry side to an exit side of a module, or from one coupled module to another, without needing to enter the vehicle. This feature makes that the need for human intervention is minimized, and that the operation process can be more easily optimized through automation.
In an embodiment, a mobile storage module may be provided in combination with a freight vehicle. The freight vehicle, such as a truck or train carriage, may have a freight surface for transporting the mobile storage module, which is arranged to support and secure the mobile storage module during transport. In this combination, the mobile storage module may lie with the rear side of the frame on the freight surface of the freight vehicle with the base extending upwards from the freight surface.
The advantage of providing such a combination is that mobile storage modules can be quickly supplied and taken away where necessary.
The invention also relates to a method for using a mobile storage module, according to one of the claims 1-19.
Further preferred embodiments are stated in the dependent claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be described in more detail below with reference to the
accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1a and 1 b show a schematic representation of the module according to the invention in a typical area of application
Figure 2 presents in a schematic way, in perspective view, an embodiment of the mobile storage module wherein a vehicle is stored and the lifting device has picked a carrier.
Figure 3 shows an exploded view of the module from figure 2, without the vehicle.
Figure 4 presents in a schematic way, in side view, an embodiment of the mobile storage module wherein two vehicles are stored and a third vehicle is being moved by the lifting device.
Figure 5 presents in a schematic way, the front view of figure 4.
Figure 6a and 6b present in a schematic way, in perspective view, an embodiment of the lifting device respectively in lifting position, and in retracted position.
Figure 7a and 7b present in a schematic way, an embodiment of the connectors in engaged and idle state, respectively in perspective view and side view.
Figure 8 presents in a schematic way, in front view, an embodiment of the mobile storage module wherein the lifting device and base are in retracted position.
Figure 9a presents in a schematic way, in top view, an embodiment wherein multiple mobile storage modules are placed side by side, front to front and front to back.
Figure 9b presents a close up of a pair of modules from figure 9a wherein the modules are placed front to front. Figure 9c presents a front view of figure 9b.
Figure 10a and 10b present in a schematic way, in top view, a surface wherein respectively a regular planar parking area is provided and wherein an embodiment of multiple coupled mobile storage modules are provided.
Figure 11 presents in a schematic way, in perspective view, an embodiment of a combination of a mobile storage module loaded onto a truck with semi-trailer.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The figures listed above will partly be described by using a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. The following conventions are used:
the X-direction is the forward direction defined by the arms in their lifting position, the Y-direction is the sideways direction defined by the supply and discharge trajectory, the Z-direction is the vertical direction, defined by the lifting direction.
See also the coordinate systems shown in the figures.
Figures 1a and 1 b show a typical area of application for the mobile storage module 100. Figure 1a shows a single storage module 100 that is provided on a parking lane 101 besides a road. Figure 1b shows two rows of three mobile storage modules front to front in an alleyway 102. The module may however also be placed on a field, construction site, quay area or for instance on the top floor of an open parking garage. It should be noted that before placement of the mobile storage module on a target location in any of such areas, the structural reliability of the area comprising the target location should be verified.
A more detailed depiction of the mobile storage module is shown in figure 2. The depicted module is constructed to accommodate parking spaces for passenger vehicles 1 such as cars and/or motorcycles, and comprises a support structure 2, carriers 3 and a lifting device 4. Obviously these and other embodiments of the invention can also be used for storing other types of objects.
The support structure 2 comprises a base 5, which is associated with a parking position 6. This parking position has an entry side and an exit side. Between the entry side and the exit side there is a supply and discharge trajectory. In the embodiment of figure 2, the parking position comprises a conveyor 7 extending along said supply and discharge trajectory. This conveyor is configured to convey the carrier supporting a car over a horizontal distance along the supply and discharge trajectory. Figure 2 further shows that the base of the support structure comprises foot supports 8 which are extendable and retractable to the front, right and left side of the support structure. In this embodiment, the conveyor 7 comprises two separate conveyor units that are connected to the front foot supports. The conveyor may however also be a single piece that is connected to another part of the support structure. The conveyor unit may for instance also comprise a turntable that allows a carrier on the parking position supporting a vehicle to rotate around an axis in the z-direction.
From the base, a frame 9 extends upwards over a height (H) and defines a number of storage positions 10 (see figure 4), which are distributed over said height H. In the
embodiment shown in figure 2, the frame comprises a right leg 11 and a left leg 12, and for each of the storage positions the frame further comprises a carrier supports 13 on each of the legs 11 and 12. The frame is thereby a rack-type structure, wherein the storage positions are aligned in a single column (see figure 5). When seen in top view (z-direction), the parking position 6 at the base is constructed forward of the storage positions in the x-direction (see figure 2). In another embodiment, there may be a single leg or any number of legs extending upwards from the base on a right, left or centre of the base. There may also be a single or any other number of carrier supports per storage position. The storage positions and parking position may also be arranged otherwise with respect to one another.
In yet another embodiment of the module, the carrier supports 13 may be adjustable in height along the frame and/or removable from the frame, to allow for storing vehicles and/or objects of different heights.
In the embodiment shown in figure 2, each carrier support 13 comprises a support beam 14 and a support protrusion 15. Both the support beam 14 and the support protrusion 15 protrude over a horizontal distance from the leg in the x-direction, wherein the protrusion length of the support beam is longer than that of the support protrusion. The support beam defines a support surface on which the carriers with the car can be placed. As indicated with numeral 16 in figure 4, there is an interspace between the top of the support beam and the bottom of the protrusion. This interspace 16 accommodates a carrier and allows for the carrier to be moved in between the support beam and protrusion of each carrier support 13. When a carrier with or without a vehicle is positioned in a carrier support 13, the support beam 14 provides a upwardly directed vertical counter force as to prevent the carrier and the vehicle from falling down, and the protrusion 15 provides a downwardly directed counter force to prevent the carrier and the vehicle from tipping out of a storage position by rotating around the distal end of the support beam. In another embodiment the carrier support may comprise active support means such as a twist lock, a piston activated pin an hole connection, etc.
Figure 2 further depicts an embodiment of the lifting device 4 being connected to the support structure. When this embodiment seen apart from the support structure in figure 6a, it is clear that the lifting device comprises a traveller 17, to which a right arm 18 and a left arm 19 are connected. The lifting device may however also comprise a single arm on either the right or left side.
The embodiment of figure 2 comprises a traveller 17, which is movably connected to the support structure via a rack and pinion 20 (see figure 2), allows the lifting device to moved up and down the frame along a trajectory that extends along the parking positions. As shown in figure 5, one rack 20a extends over the height of the frame along a left side of the right frame member, and another rack 20b extends over the height of the frame along a right side of the left frame member. Instead of a rack and pinion mechanism, a chain drive, winch system or for instance a counter weight may be used to move the traveller up and down. Another option would be to have a telescopic arm hingedly connected to the support structure at a fixed position. The lifting device could in such an embodiment be moved up and down the storage position by simultaneously pivoting around said hinge and retracting or extending the arms.
As can be seen in figure 3, both the right arm 18 and the left arm 19 have a proximal end and a distal end. Both arms extend in a forward direction outwardly from the frame over a horizontal distance and are configured to carry the weight of the carrier and a vehicle positioned on the carrier. When seen in front view in figure 5 the right arm is located on a right side of the frame and the left arm is located on a left side of the frame. When seen from the top (z-di recti on), the traveller and the two arms define a U-shape which extends around the frame, wherein the frame is located at a base 21 of the U-shape. Both arms are connected to the traveller at their proximal end via a hinge 22. These hinges enable the arms to pivot back and forth relative to the traveller between a lifting position, wherein the arm is arranged perpendicular or substantially perpendicular to the frame (see figure 6a), and a retracted position, wherein the arm is arranged parallel or substantially parallel to the frame (see figure 6b). In the embodiment shown here, the pivoting motion an arms around its hinge is accomplished by means of hydraulic pistons 23. In another embodiment, the lifting device may have single arm and thus have an L-shape when seen from top view (z-direction). The arms may also be pivoted by means of a rotary drive, winch, or other (electro)mechanical system.
The lifting device may further be constructed to be retractable in the y-direction. In the embodiment shown in figure 3, this is accomplished by having the right arm 18 and left arm 19 connected to the traveller 17 by means of beams 40 that are telescopically retractable and extendible with respect to the traveller. Figure 8 shows the front view (x-direction) of a mobile storage module wherein the right and left arm are pivoted to be arranged parallel to the frame and are further retracted in the y-direction.
The lifting device of figure 3 furthermore comprises two pairs of connectors 24, one pair on each arm 18, 19, which are configured to connect the lifting device to the carrier. These connectors are movable along the arm in the x-direction between a forward position and a rearward position by means of a connector drive 25 (see figure 6a). In this
embodiment, this connector drive is a travelling nut linear actuator which is integrated into each of the arms 18, 19. This movement may however also be induced by a spindle, worm wheel, or another type of actuator. The length of each arm and the distance between the forward connector position and the leg of the frame are greater than the length of the support beam and the width of the carrier (see figure 4). This allows the carriers to be moved up and down in front of one or more storage positions which hold a carrier supporting a car. The connectors are further movable in the y-direction. In figure 6a, the connectors are embodied by hooks 26 wherein the bottom portion of the hooks are connected to the connector pairs via a connector hinge 27 (see figure 7a, 7b). The movement in the y-direction is induced by means of a connector actuator (not shown here) that rotates said bottom part of the hooks around said connector hinge. The connectors may however also be embodied by twist locks, magnets, or other active or passive means for connecting and disconnecting the lifting device to the carrier. The connector actuator may for instance be a cam mechanism, a spindle or a rotary drive.
The module further comprises a number of carriers 3, for supporting vehicles 1 , wherein each carrier is a rigid platform which is configured to be placed in one of the storage positions. Each of the carriers comprises protrusions, recesses and/or through holes, to which the connectors 24 are designed to connect or disconnect during respectively a pick or place operation performed on the carrier by the lifting device. In the embodiment shown in figure 2, the carrier has the shape of a rectangle having two longer vertices 28 and two shorter vertices 29, wherein two through holes are provided along the shorter vertices. When viewed in the x-direction, a first short vertex of the carrier in a storage position is located on a left side of the frame and a second short vertex is located on the right side of the frame. In other embodiments, the carrier may be for instance polygonal, round or have any other shape. The protrusions, recesses and or through holes may also be located on the long vertex or on any other place of the carrier. In yet another embodiment, said protrusions, recesses or through holes may be absent.
The parking position of the embodiment in figure 2 has an entry side and an exit side. Both the entry side and the exit side are open and configured to be coupled with respectively an exit side and an entry side of a second mobile storage module 10. This second mobile parking unit may be positioned on the left or right side of the first mobile storage module. When multiple modules are as such placed in a row, the respective parking positions form a row and define a supply and discharge trajectory providing access to all modules in the row via the first and the last module of the row.
Figure 9 shows a top view of an embodiment of a system of nine coupled mobile storage modules. The modules are arranged in three rows of three modules each. The modules in the left and middle row are placed with their front sides facing each other, whereas the modules in the right row are positioned with their front side facing the back side of the modules in the middle row. It can furthermore be seen that there are two supply and discharge trajectories, namely a left trajectory 30 for the left and middle row of modules, and a right trajectory 31 for the right row of modules.
Figure 9 depicts in a schematic way that each of the trajectories is straight when seen from top view, and is defined by conveyors that each comprise a pair of a left 7a and a right conveyor unit 7b. In the left trajectory, which gives access to the modules in the left and middle row, the left conveyor units are connected to the modules on the left of the trajectory whereas the right conveyor units are connected to the modules on the right of the trajectory.
In the right trajectory both left and right unit of each conveyor are both connected to the same module.
When a pair of modules are placed front to front as shown in fig. 9B, and these modules share a single parking position 6, the lifting devices of both modules are to be controlled in cooperation. When a carrier supporting a vehicle is to be positioned in a storage location of the right module, the lifting device of the right module 4a should perform a lifting operation while the lifting device of the left module 4b should be brought to its retracted position at an angle a of more than 30 degrees (see figure 9b, 9c).
Each of the supply an discharge directories can be accessed through a driveway 32, having a supply position 33. In the embodiment of figure 9, a carrier is placed on said supply position after each storage or release operation. Each of the driveways 32 is further equipped with a user interface console 34 from which storage and release commands can be given to the system. In such a setup a vehicle can be dropped off on a carrier without entering the supply and discharge directory. A vehicle can be parked onto the supply position.
Subsequently, the user 35 gets out of the vehicle and activates a storage operation through the console. In case of a release operation, the user walks up to the console and activates a release operation. Users therefore do not have to enter a module, which makes the system safer and easier to automate. In other embodiments a single module or system of coupled modules may instance be provided without a ramp or console.
Figure 10a depicts in top view an area on which twenty four modules are placed, having a driveway and supply position for each two rows of four modules. Assuming that each module has six parking positions, the setup of figure 10a has a capacity for 144 (6*24) vehicles. In a conventional parking place such as schematically depicted in figure 10b, there is only a capacity for 34 vehicles. The mobile parking system according to the invention is depicted in figure 11 while lying on the freight surface 36 of a truck 37 with a semi-trailer 38. The module lies with the rear side of the frame on the freight surface, with the base extending upwards from the freight surface. As in figure 8, the arms are retracted in the y-direction, arranged parallel to the frame, and the foot supports are retracted into the base. In the embodiment of figure 11 , the carriers 3 and conveyor 7 are stacked and loaded onto the truck.
Before the placement of a mobile storage module, the target location is vacant. A company or organization responsible for providing parking (or more general storage) capacity to said target location typically provides a mobile storage module by sending a combination of a truck and a module 39 to the site. Subsequently the mobile storage module is unloaded at the target location and the module is installed. Once the foot supports have been placed firmly on a level surface adjacent the base, the carriers have been provided onto the parking position and storage positions, the arms are unlocked, and the control module has been put in automatic mode, operations may commence. The go-ahead for executing a storing operation will be given after a vehicle has been positioned onto the parking position, and the situation has been released by for instance a button push on the user interface console 34. During such a storage operation, the carrier supporting the vehicle is moved from the parking position to a specific one of the storage positions. Assuming another storage operation has just finished, the traveller first moves downward to the parking position. During this downward movement the connectors are moved to the forward position by actuating the connector drives, and the connectors are connected to the carrier supporting the vehicle by actuating the connector actuator. Subsequently, the lifting device including the carrier and the vehicle are moved upward to the level of the desired storage position by actuating the traveller.
Finally, the connectors with the carrier and the vehicle are moved to the rearward position by actuating the connector drives, thereby positioning the carrier with the car in the storage position. The connectors are disconnected from the carrier and the lifting device is put into idle mode. At a certain point in time the vehicle will again be requested at the parking position, demanding a release operation. During such a release operation, the carrier supporting a vehicle is moved from the storage position to the parking position. Assuming that the lifting device has just completed a release operation and the traveller is in its lower position with the connectors in the forward position, the traveller is first moved up to the target storage position. During this upward movement the connector drive moves the connectors to the rearward position. After arrival at the target storage position, the connectors are connected to the carrier. Subsequently, the connectors including the carrier are moved to the forward position. Finally, the traveller moves downward to the parking position and the connectors are disconnected from the carrier. The arms are pivoted upwards to allow passage of the vehicle in or out of the supply and discharge trajectory, and the vehicle is now ready to be picked up at an end of the supply and discharge trajectory. After the mobile storage module has serviced al the parking demand at the target location, the foot supports and the at least one arm are returned to their retracted position, and the mobile storage module is loaded onto the freight vehicle.

Claims

1. Mobile storage module (100), comprising:
- a support structure (2) comprising a base (5) which is associated with a parking position (6) and a frame (9) which extends upward from the base over a height (H) and which defines a number of storage positions (10) for storing objects , in particular vehicles, therein, the storage positions being distributed over the height of the frame,
- at least one carrier (3) for carrying an object (1), wherein the carrier is configured to be placed in one of the storage positions;
- a lifting device (4), for transporting the carrier and the object supported by the carrier from the parking position to a storage position or vice versa,
characterised in that,
- the lifting device is movably connected to the support structure, such that said lifting device can be moved up and down the frame along a trajectory that extends along the parking positions, the lifting device comprising: at least one arm (18, 19) having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein in side view the at least one arm extends in a forward direction outwardly from the frame over a horizontal distance, wherein the at least one arm extends in particular horizontally, wherein the arm is configured to carry the weight of the carrier and an object positioned on the carrier,
- one or more connectors (24), wherein the connectors are configured to connect the lifting device to the carrier,
- at least one connector drive (25) for moving the connectors over a connector travel distance relative to the at least one arm, wherein the connectors are movable along the arm between a forward position and a rearward position.
2. Mobile storage module according to claim 1 , wherein the lifting device comprises a traveller (17) which travels up and down along the frame, wherein the at least one arm is pivotably connected to the traveller via a hinge at its proximal end, enabling said at least one arm to pivot back and forth relative to the traveller between a lifting position, wherein the arm is arranged perpendicular or substantially perpendicular to the frame, and a retracted position, wherein the arm is arranged parallel or substantially parallel to the frame or inclined at an angle (a) of greater than 30 degrees to the horizontal.
3. Mobile storage module according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the lifting device comprises a right arm (18) and a left arm (19) having an arm length and extending over a horizontal distance, each arm having a proximal end and a distal end, wherein when seen in front view the right arm is located on a right side of the frame and the left arm is located on a left side of the frame.
4. Mobile storage module according to claim 2 or 3, wherein when seen in top view the traveller and the right and left arms define a U-shape which extends around the frame, wherein when seen in top view the frame is located at a base (21) of the U-shape.
5. Mobile storage module according to the preceding claim, wherein at least one rail or a rack (20a, 20b) of a rack and pinion (20c) drive extends over the height of the frame along a rear side of the frame or along a right and/or a left side of the frame.
6. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the carrier is a rigid platform comprising protrusions, recesses and/or through holes, and the connectors comprise connectors, in particular hooks, which are configured to fit into the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes of the uniform carrier during a picking or placing operation.
7. Mobile storage module according to the preceding claim, wherein the carrier has the shape of a rectangle having two longer vertices (28) and two shorter vertices (29), wherein the protrusions, recesses and/or through holes are provided along the shorter vertices of said carrier, and wherein seen in front view, a first short vertex of the carrier in a storage position is located on a left side of the frame and a second short vertex is located on the right side of the frame.
8. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, comprising at least one connector actuator for connecting and disconnecting the connectors (24) from the carrier.
9. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the frame comprises at least one leg (11 , 12) and wherein for each storage position the frame comprises one or more support beams (14) which project in a forward direction from the leg over a support beam length, and wherein the length of the at least one arm and the distance between the forward connector position and the leg are greater than the length of the support beam and the width of the carrier, allowing the carriers to be moved up and down in front of one or more storage positions which hold a carrier supporting a car.
10. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the frame comprises a right leg (11) and a left leg (12), and wherein each storage position is defined by a right beam which protrudes over a horizontal distance from the right leg and by a left beam which protrudes over a horizontal distance from the left leg, wherein the right and left beam define a support surface on which the carriers with the car can be placed.
11. Mobile storage module according to the previous claim, wherein each storage position further comprises a protrusion (15), which projects in a forward direction from the frame over a protrusion length, wherein the protrusion length is shorter than the support beam length, and wherein there is an interspace (16) between the top of the support beam and the bottom of the protrusion which accommodates a carrier and allows for the carrier to be moved in between said support beam and said protrusion during the movement of the carrier from the forward position to the rearward position.
12. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, defines at least four parking positions, and in particular six parking positions.
13. Mobile storage module according to any of claims 5-12, wherein the rail or rack of the rack and pinion drive system extends over the height of the legs along inner sides and/or outer sides of the right and left legs.
14. Mobile storage module according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the parking position has an entry side and an exit side which are open and configured be coupled with respectively an exit side and an entry side of a second mobile storage module (100) which is positioned on the left or right side of the first mobile storage module.
15. Mobile storage module according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the support structure has a width of less than 260cm or wherein the base of the support structure comprises foot supports (8) which are extendable and retractable to the right and left side of the support structure, wherein in the retracted position of the foot supports the width of the support structure is less than 300 cm, in particular less than 260 cm.
16. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the storage positions are aligned above each other in a single column and each support beam or set of support beams positioned at a specific height of the frame accommodates a single parking position.
17. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the module is constructed to accommodate parking spaces only for passenger vehicles.
18. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the
connectors are movable in the y-direction between a lifting position and an idle position, in particular by pivoting about a connector pivot axis that extends horizontally in a forward direction, more in particular by pivoting about a connector pivot axis that is parallel to and offset in a downward direction from the at least one arm.
19. Mobile storage module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein when seen in top view the parking position is constructed forward of the storage positions.
20. Mobile parking system (1000), comprising a plurality of mobile storage modules (100) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the modules are placed in a row, wherein the respective parking positions also form a row and define a supply and discharge trajectory which provides access to all modules in the row via the first and the last module of the row, wherein said access and discharge trajectory is in particular straight when seen from top view.
21. Mobile parking system according to claim 18, wherein a plurality of pairs of two
modules are placed in a row, wherein the modules of each pair are oriented with their front sides facing one another, and wherein the two modules of each pair share their parking positions, defining a single supply and discharge trajectory which provides access to both modules of each pair.
22. Mobile parking system according to claim 18 or 19, comprising a conveyor () which extends along the supply and discharge trajectory, wherein the conveyor is configured to conveying the carrier supporting an object over a horizontal distance along the supply and discharge trajectory.
23. A combination (39) of a freight vehicle (37) and a mobile storage module (100)
according to any of claims 1-19, comprising:
the freight vehicle (37) having a freight surface (36) for transporting the mobile storage module, such as a truck or a train carriage, possibly comprising auxiliary freight equipment such as a semi-trailer (38), wherein the freight surface of the freight vehicle is arranged to support and secure the mobile storage module during transport; at least one mobile storage module, that lies with the rear side of the frame on the freight surface (36) of the freight vehicle, wherein the base extends upwards from the freight surface;
24. Method for storing a plurality of objects, in particular vehicles, comprising the steps:
- providing one or more mobile storage module (100) according to any of claims 1- 19,
- providing a carrier on the parking position,
- positioning an object on the carrier;
- executing a storage operation, wherein a carrier supporting an object is moved from the parking position to a specific one of the storage positions;
- after a time period, executing a release operation, wherein a carrier supporting an object is moved from the storage position to the parking position.
25. Method according to claim 24, wherein the step of providing the at least one mobile storage module furthermore comprises the step of;
providing a combination according to claim 23;
transporting the mobile storage module to a target location with the freight vehicle and unloading the mobile storage module at the target location prior to storing objects therein,
installing the mobile storage module on the target location, comprising the placement of the base on a level surface and extending the foot support to find support adjacent to the base, and
after the mobile storage module has serviced al the parking demand at the target location, the foot supports and the at least one arm are returned to their retracted position, and the mobile storage module is loaded onto the freight vehicle.
26. Method according to claim 24, wherein a storage operation comprises the following steps:
moving the traveller downward to the parking position, moving the connectors to the forward position and connecting the connectors to a carrier which supports an object in the parking position,
subsequently moving the traveller including the carrier and the object upward to the level of the desired storage position, and
subsequently moving the connectors with the carrier and the object to the rearward position, positioning the carrier in the storage position and disconnecting the connectors from the carrier, and wherein a release operation comprises the steps:
moving the traveller upward to the level of the target storage position, moving the connectors to the rearward position and connecting the connectors to the carrier, subsequently moving the connectors including the carrier and the object to the forward position, and
moving the traveller downward to the parking position and disconnecting the connectors from the carrier.
PCT/NL2020/050173 2019-03-19 2020-03-16 A mobile storage module for storing a multiplicity of objects, in particular vehicles, therein WO2020190132A1 (en)

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Citations (7)

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CN108643656A (en) * 2018-05-30 2018-10-12 武汉工程大学 Lifting cross-sliding type solid machinery garage
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
KR101342098B1 (en) * 2012-10-11 2013-12-18 (주)에이엔티 Auxiliary parking system and parking system having the same
WO2015070519A1 (en) 2013-11-15 2015-05-21 康金华 Vertically independent laterally-moving two-level parking garage
CN104295140A (en) * 2014-11-04 2015-01-21 周凯旋 Multi-story lifting and rotating type stereo garage
CN207160693U (en) * 2017-04-01 2018-03-30 泰安展辉商贸有限公司 File lift-sliding multi-storied garage is not taken up an area
CN108166814A (en) * 2018-02-28 2018-06-15 长春工程学院 Capstan head send vehicle type intelligent stereo parking space
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