I am looking to build a specific kind of lift for a project I'm working on but I don't know the name. I am willing to hire a mechanical engineer to help me design and build it (or buy one if it already exists) but I'd like to do as much research as possible before deciding on the next steps.
What I have in mind is like a ferris wheel, save that it is shaped more like a stretched rubber band than a circle (i.e. it has vertical sides and a short circular path at the top and bottom). Instead of carts that people sit in I'd just like a flat steel floor, say 4'x8', for loading cargo.
Using a switch I'd like the flat "carts" to move into a loading space, load from the front, then be sent up to make room for the next cart. Maximum load should be about 1,000lbs per cart.
What is this type of device called? I know similar things have been built for parking cars, but I don't want something quite so large and I'm interested in storing smaller things than cars.
I'm sorry if this isn't more descriptive, please ask if I can clarify anything and I'll be happy to.