Energy – Solar Bot

This week Nicola Carpeggiani and I worked on a simple solar powered BEAM robot for out energy assignment. We started with a schematic for a BEAM project that stores up solar energy in a capacitor until it has enough voltage to pass through a voltage regulator and trigger a motor through a transistor.


We added a Potentiometer which combined with a capacitor seemed to create a RC timer with the smaller capacitor charging and releasing voltage at a relatively constant cycle. Ultimately we had some difficulty getting constant performance but we attribute this to some mechanical and fabrication issues as our testing on a breadboard suggested that the circuit was working as intended.

Breadboard Circuit Video

We were able to get it to work briefly out in the sun.

Solar BEAM in the sun

We used two 2200 microfarad capacitors and a smaller 47 microfarad capacitor for the RC timer. With each panel under well lit conditions we wear able to generate 6 Volts and 40 milliamps.


The original schematic came from (Solarbotics) as part of Jeff Feddersen’s Energy class at ITP.

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