Let's Make Robots!


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'Sunflower' - Solar Power Smart Head V5

I made this bot for my daughter's 6th birthday present. I used as many scrap parts as I could scrounge up (Situation = Normal). Most of the capacitors are scavanged, along with the 3.5" Floppy drive motor coil, the leds, all the wiring and connectors and the battery. I made the frame around the solar panels out of copper wire and copper tubing, soldered together to create spring loaded hinges for both 'leaves'. This little guy will sit happily watching the brightest thing it spots, rotating to brighter sources of light, should they becoome available. He moves about every 4 or 5 seconds for about 20 degrees (unless he is locked onto a bright object) just slow enough to be plant like. He has a violet/pink led in the center of his flower and another red led on his radio shack round circuit board. I'll add a video when I get a decent one. Video added.

The schematic and layout.



Hinged panels demonstrated.



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I made a bicore just recently using the 74AC240.  Maybe that would work?

I can try and put together a parts list and some design sketches this weekend, although as I said, some parts (like the coil) have to be scavenged.

The design shown here was the brainchild of Wilf Rigter (BEAM yahoo group guru) and is analog. It has been optimized to run on very minimal power, and as shown can only power a very efficent gear motor. You can add motor drivers for less efficent motors though. There are many other 'head' circuits out there, both BEAM and microcontroller based. The beam varity have the advantage of simple design and no programming, but the microcontroller version would have greater flexibility without having to hardwire its behaviors. There are many ways to skin a cat.

thanks... I actually opened up a floppy drive from some old computers lying around my offices storage room. To my surprise, I found the "flower" inside it :) I should be able to use the motor from it too! Nothing like free parts...

Cool and well done. The solar panel attachment is quite interesting...


Amazing artwork! But about your profile picture: read the rules!

Thank you!

I did not see anything about animated gifs in the 'Rules' but after looking some more I found a note about it next to the upload button in my change profile picture setting. *Fixed*

Beautiful coil flower. From your post direct into my TODO list. Thank you.

I'm honored!

Seriously, if you have any questions about mine, just ask.

Coolio look ..... "A" drive motor coils rock if i am not mistaken....

Great you have posted the circuit..... (i have all the bits :-)