Let's Make Robots!

Robot Pet "Sparky"

Obstacle avoidance, solar charging

This is my first robot which is still a work in progress. My goal is to create a pet robot that charges itself and navigates autonomously. At the time of this writing I am still working out the kinks in the power system and programming.


The body is aprox. 5" cubed not including the wheels and solar panel. It is constructed of HDPE and 0.135" diameter bolts.

The power system is a 2W solar panel that charges a supercapacitor bank for a short term energy supply. 


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Hello and welcome to LMR!

I'm very interested in the power supply system... Do you have schematics of this? Also what caps are you using (Rated voltage, capacity, how many, series or parallel...)? Would it be possible to see a video of this thing running around or something? :D

Keep up the good work!

I'd hate to post schematics and whatnot before it's finished as they may not even work.

Regardless, I'm almost done with the power system so after that it's just programming.

Not to put a damper on your project, but with that small solar cell you probably won’t get much movement.

That's what the supercapacitors are for.

I don’t believe that your solar cell is capable of producing enough current for your system to run.
As far as I can see, you have 4 servos, 2 range sensors and a microcontroller all running from a small solar cell. If you can make this work it would be amazing to say the least.

Your supercapacitors are not more than batteries in this circuit and still has to be charged by the sun before the energy can be used. If your solar cell is not producing enough energy to sustain the current drawn by the robot it will stop and you have to wait until the cap is recharged.

I hope you can make it work !

Do you absolutely need the two sharp sensors - or would one do?

Two isn't necessary for basic functions per say, but with two you can do trigonometry given two points and two angles for more advanced mapping, navigating, etc.

Disregard. (I'm new to this site in case you couldn't tell =P)

nice sinatra you used and nice concept :D

The body is actually made of HDPE although I've heard good things about sintra as well. Guess I could add a little to the description. =P