Solar Robots Powered By Solar Panels

Solar-powered robots and BEAM robots are very popular for beginning robot builders. DIY solor robots usually fit in the palm of your hand and use pager motors or micro gearhead motors.

You can make a solar robot with:

The wonderful thing about solar robots is that there is never a battery to replace. They can start up automatically in the morning and shut themselves off at night. The downside is that they require a lot of light to run continuously, so they usually operate in short bursts.

XS Boost, a solar-powered chef’s-salad robot XS Boost, Chef’s Salad Solar Robot
Includes some unusual parts, such as N-size cells, tilt switches, and a finger-friendly dipswitch. It has a very efficient solar engine that uses a Maxim voltage doubler chip to power Maxon motors. As such, this robot runs constantly in moderate sun (no pauses between bursts).
Appetizer robot seeking the sun Appetizer Robot
This solar-powered robot is built with a BEAM design. Small dc motors are driven by a capacitor and steered by photodiodes. Photographs, links, a video, and a schematic are provided.
Carefree thumbnail Carefree Robot
A room-exploring robot with a variety of sensors (whiskers, snap-action switches, shadow detectors). It has an unusual serial motor driver and a special image etched into the motherboard PCB.
Lightspeed thumbnail Lightspeed Solar Roller Racer
Robots that race straight to a finish line, powered only by light, are called Solar Rollers. Lightspeed is a champion racer with a mix of modest LEGO bricks and an expense Maxon motor in a custom machined interference-fit mount. The design also features a hybrid PCB with prototyping sockets.
Chicago thumbnail Chicago Solar-Powered Line-Following Robot
This robot combines two circuits from other robots to charge/discharge 2 farads of capacitance into a pair of miniature motors controlled by a low-voltage comparator. Four photosensors track the line, which can be either dark or light based on a switch setting.
Rosin smokes as a magnifying glass solders a circuit Solar Soldering
It is actually possible to solder using a magnifying glass. This article shows the desired type of lens, ambient conditions, and setup for joining electronic components with solar energy heat rays.
Miniature solar panel recharges batteries in a solar-powered project Solar Recharging
A small solar panel or series of solar cells can power an electronic device during the day, as well as recharge NiMH batteries to power the device at night. This simple recharger uses diodes for reverse-power protection and so that the project can measure the power source voltages. Includes schematics and graphs.