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Will O’ the Wisps – An experiment In Self-Sustained System Dynamics

Posted April 19, 2018 by Chris

"The project consists of eight modules (creatures) that operate independently, but coordinate their efforts to perform a common task. Each module implements a solar panel to collect the energy needed to operate (feeding) and communicates using radio transmissions. These mechanisms allow the system’s overall behavior to mimic the interactions of prairie dog and mongoose colonies."

See-through solar concentrator harvests energy from sunlight

Posted June 7, 2015 by Chris

"A team of Michigan State University (MSU) researchers has created a transparent solar concentrator able to turn any window into a photovoltaic solar cell. What makes this development different? The panel is truly transparent."

Photovoltaic Martian Bugs

Posted October 4, 2013 by Chris

"The objective of the Photovoltaic Martian Bug project is to create small autonomous robots. These robots will be powered by solar panels and intelligently react with their environment."

Solar Powered Picaxe Microbot (Vibrobot)

Posted January 16, 2013 by Chris

“This is a small solar powered progammable robot. It’s design was inspired by BEAM robots, but whereas those devices are usually entirely hardware based, I favor systems which rely on software. Allowing programmability, however basic, introduces a whole new level of flexibility.”

The Doom Box

Posted September 25, 2012 by Chris

“I’ve long had a fascination for renewable energy – be it from wind, solar, or hydro-electric sources. Perhaps it’s just my penchant for penny-pinching, but the idea of free and unlimited energy is something I find quite appealing. So, in February of 2009, I bought my first SUN 90W, 18VDC photovoltaic (PV) panel.”

Wind and Solar Communications Node

Posted May 29, 2012 by Chris

“The purpose of this project was to provide an inexpensive communications network that does not rely on pre-existing infrastructure. Currently the system utilizes wind and solar energy to power a wifi repeater and VOIP phone. The power produced by the wind turbine and solar panel is monitored remotely using a hall-effect sensor and microcontroller.”

Solar Powered Microcontroller Head

Posted June 22, 2011 by Chris

“This is a so called autonomous kinetic sculpture from the ‘famous’ CawtBot family. Partly made form scrap junk, partly from new pieces. based on the Atmel AtTiny26L microcontroller. It’s completeley autonomous because of solar power.” The article features many pictures of the ‘robot’ in action as well as a brief overview of how it works.

Smiley Driving Solar Robot

Posted June 1, 2011 by Chris

Solar powered robotics can be difficult to design, however this article gives a great example of how to make it work. The smiley solar powered robot uses differential drive motors with an analog brain to find its way. The article has the schematic and board layout available for download and describes how the robot works. Smile and build your own!

Solar Recorder v1

Posted May 2, 2011 by Chris

With Solar Energy becoming more mainstream, we need to have a better understanding of the sun’s movement, and the most efficient spots for solar panels to be point toward. This project shows you how to build a system that records the irradiance of the sun at specific time intervals, working as an SD card data logger.

Building a Sun Tracker

Posted April 11, 2011 by Chris

As the solar power industry grows, so must too sun tracking circuitry. This project gives a short but sweet example of how to build a system for sun-tracking. It’s not professional grade, but it is a great place to start if you’re looking to build your own sun-tracking solar panel.