Adding a solar panel to a robot is the easiest way to power the robot and in the same time is the first step to go green and save money. To build a solar robot you need specific resources like solar panels. These panels are used to capture the energy from the sun while the photovoltaic cells transform the radiant light and heat from the sun into electrical energy.
In this article can be found solar robotic kits designed to be used in educational purposes or just for a hobby. In addition to the robotics kits is a list with DIY solar robots that can be used as inspiration.
With lower costs and an increased interests, the robots powered by sunlight are designed to be used in more and more everyday tasks including cleaning, for education to learn how the sun’s energy can be used instead the energy produced by non-renewable resources, and many other fields where non-conventional power energy can be used. Next can be found a list with robotic kits powered by sunlight.
- MINDS-i Super Rover
MINDS-i Super Rover is an all terrain autonomous robotic kit designed to be improved with solar panel module. The modular structure can be improved with microcontrollers, transmitters, a wide range of sensors, and other robot parts.
- Solar Robot Kit
A robotic kit with up to 70 pieces used to build three robotic solar projects including a humanoid robot, a tank, and a scorpion. The kit is designed for very young enthusiasts with ages from 10 to beyond.
- Solar Space Wings
Educational kit with an interesting structure based on metal filaments called Muscle Wires.
- SolarSpeeder v2.0
Reaching the second generation, the SolarSpeeder robot can stay under the sunlight for 40 seconds and store energy to run up to 3 meters (10 feet).
- Solar Bottle Motor Boat
An interesting solar kit used in educational projects that help students to learn how to use solar power to generate electrical energy and navigate using recycled materials like plastic bottles.
- Solar Robot Pool Skimmer
This is a service robot used in pools as chemical dispenser. Using solar panels the robot it is self-powered and can work for more than 30,000 hours.
DIY Solar Robotic Projects
In this chapter of the article I make an overview of DIY solar robotic projects designed to use solar energy to power the electronics instead using batteries.
- Appetizer Solar Robot
Appetizer is a small, fast and easy to build DIY robot powered by a solar panel.
- Miniball Wannabe
Using a little solar cell to charge the capacitor, this little robot moves the ball forward. The energy is used to activate a pager sized motor which produces motion and move in the plastic ball.
- Solar Car
Based on wheels, this solar platform can be integrated with a wide range of sensors and used for DIY projects.