Solar car (Photoelectric) 2003
A model for a school project. Features include two 1 Farad supercapacitors which give an ability to charge in relatively low light and also to drive about 10 yards through a shaded area out of direct sunlight. The solar panels can be tilted to either side to best catch oblique sunlight. Two LEDs indicate the charging with the high intensity blue LED being visible in sunlight. It can be charged in low light from a light bulb.
Solar Car (Steam powered!)
Robotic car (PICAXE programmable) 2005
This model car is programmed via a PICAXE 28A chip 168F72 with Basic language. Transfer of the program is via a serial cable output. It is simple enough for kids to be able to program. The 4 MHz development board has 8 outputs buffered on board by a darlington driver chip ULN2803A and a L293D motor driver chip. There are 8 inputs and 4 analogue inputs as well. It all runs on 4.5 V. There is a 256 line limit and 15 gosub limit
Mechanically it has two independent rear motors and a front castor (a small furniture one) all mounted on a 23 x 17 cm acrylic chassis.
So far it has inputs of 2 switches and a light dependent resistor and outputs of two motors and two LED's.
These are micro sized robotic devices. The BEAM acronym stands for
There are a huge number of different species of these devices.
This one uses 2 motors, a solar cell and a rechargeable battery. When the motor shafts contact the surface it will spin on the spot. I now have a couple of pager motors that are tiny and look forward to making more of these.
This site gives many examples of BEAM bots.
This page was last updated June 03, 2009