Let's Make Robots!


Charge up with solar energy and move

Hi guys! I am working on the Symet project from "Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels". He's my first attempt at BEAM robotics, and the first robot I've actually built from scratch (my only other bot is a BoeBot, and of course Lego Mindstorms). It uses an FLED solar-engine, which stores up energy in it's three 4700 uF capacitors lining the sides. Every second, the FLED tries to blink, and if there is enough voltage in the capacitors (around 2.3 volts) electricity passes through the FLED, triggering a PNP transistor which in turn triggers a NPN transistor which lets power go through to the motors. If that was too much for you to comprehend at once, here's the schematic:

FLED Solar Engine Schematic

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I tried making a FLED solar engine, but it wouldn't work.  I tested all of the components (they worked), I used all the parts it wanted, and I breadboarded it four times.  It would not even pulse through an analog meter connected as a motor. 

Nice job getting it to work though!  how did you do it?

Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. Have you gotten the solar engine to work now? Perhaps you didn't have a strong enough solar panel.

how much do i need? it makes about 3.5 volts at about 10-20 milliamps.

I've made one of these, but it was not active at all. All what it did was cramps which were shaking the bot a little :) Yours is moving!

lol :) what type of motor did you use?

Cannot remember now, it was a symet kit from solarbotics.

Then it probably wasn't the motor, but when I was breadboarding Symet, I discovered that the motor I intended to use barely moved at all, but others worked fine.