Monday, June 4th, 2012...2:35 pm

Crowdsourcing: Let’s Build a Solar-Powered Robot!

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Who doesn’t want a solar-powered robot pet? Having no mechanical/ engineering/ computer science background, I’m turning to you, kind folks on the Internet, for guidance to build a robot!

Since it’ll be my first attempt at DIY robot, I’d like to keep it simple: it gets power from the sun and can move around back and forth without crashing into a wall (basically following this tutorial).  

Yes, we all have grand ideas about how awesome our robot pet should be, and ultimately I would want it to be simple and beautiful, with impecable voice recognition and table manners, but let’s start with the basics.

Key parts would be: one motor, one microcontroller (with build-in motor driver of course), sensors, solar panels, two wheels. What else am I missing?

From what I remember of my middle school physics, I can just connect the soalr panels to a switch and a capacitor, linked to the two terminals of the motor. — right? I’m following the solar-powered robot tutorial here.

First step: I’ll get everything on my shopping list. If anyone has suggestions on what capacity of the motor, solar panels, and capacitor I should use or if you have other input, that’d be great! Thanks, guys!

Let’s  build a robot!


a Japanese-built solar-powered R2D2

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  • Power rating of the motor depends on how heavy/large and fast you want your robot to be, voltage rating of your solar panel, and your battery. If you want to build a small one as shown in the greendiary tutorial, a tiny DC motor would be fine (just search DC motor at Amazon).

  • I love Star Wars, R2D2 is the beat robot in the world, I’m happy they’ve started this project

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