This solar powered beam robot charges up a capacitor which powers motors and propels the “hamster ball” forward.Â The sphere runs in the direction of movement of the device inside and it’s also a basic example of what BEAM Robotics is all about. For those who don’t know, BEAM (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics) Robotics uses simple electronics with basic mechanical parts (no microcontrollers).
How simple is it? You can build a basic Solar Powered Miniball in less than 2 hours with the parts listed below. Most of them are sourced from Solarbotics kits.
- 80 mm Transparent Plastic Sphere
- High-efficiency Coreless Motor
- Motor Mounting Clip
- Rubber Wheels on Nylon Hubs
- Paper clips
- 37 x 33mm Solarbotics Solar Cell
- 0.35F 2.5V Capacitor
- 6.8uF Tantalum Capacitor
- 3904 Transistor
- 1381 Voltage Trigger
- Signal Diode 1N914, 1N4148
The build is a simple circuit powered by a solar cell that moves two rubber wheels.Â A small pager motor powers the wheels and the entire contraption sits inside a transparent plastic sphere. When the solar cells charge the capacitor, the wheels move and the robot rolls inside, the plastic sphere rolls with it in the same direction.
The project is covered step by step from putting the circuit together to assembling the robot inside the sphere. Put your own spin on it and make something unique.