How to Make a Solar Top Robot (2)

Now we start to make the mechanical part.

First we cut the board as an equilateral triangle. It should put three 2200uf capacitors and mini motor in the triangle circumcircle. See the below photo.

Pull the three clips straight, connect head and tail curved into a circle frame. Put the capacitors and mini motor in the circle. The solar panel install on the board.

The next step is welding the electronic part on the board. See the following photo.

Use the rest three clips bent into three fixed machine frame. Please note the clip in the motor screw holes in the end not be too long, otherwise it will hamper the operation of the mini motor.

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How to Make a Solar Top Robot (1)

Make a Robot is not easy, but also not very difficult. Here we start from an easy example – Solar Top. It has below function:

1. Rotator under sunshine

2. Come back if meet Obstacle

3. Keep stay in no sunshine place.

This is a simple automatic robot. It don't need people maintance. The life is depend on the environment and mechanical wear. The parts cost is very low.

The following is the parts you need:

1. Clip  6 units

2. Mini Motor  1 unit

3. capacitor  3 units

4. NPN Triode  1 unit

5. PNP Triode  1 unit

6. 2.2K resistance  1 unit

7. LED light   1 unit

8. Some Wire

9. Small Solar Panel( >4V, 10mA)    1 unit

10. Some Solder Wire

11. Perforated Board 1 unit

Below is the robot circuit diagram:

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Water Powered Barrel to Supply Energy

A new design for a hydroelectric generator could cheaply light up off-grid areas. The Hydro-Electric Barrel is a spinning water wheel that floats on the water surface and turns in the current. The spinning motion drives permanent magnet generators inside. It could generate enough power to light banks of LEDs and light up bridges, buoys, or even charge mobile devices in off-grid areas and developing countries. And, because it sits on the surface, it doesn’t disrupt the environment as much as other hydro-power technologies.

Mr. Mike Lowery made a prototype for a whimsical-looking amphibious vehicle with a design flaw that, decades later, seeded his idea for a cheap hydro-power generator. His concept is called the Hydro-Electric Barrel, a floating water wheel that turns on top of a current to generate power using permanent magnet generators. Now, Lowery, a retired engineer and inventor, is looking for teams around the world to help develop prototypes.

The idea started with a prototype of a light one-seater amphibious vehicle for recreation or rescue. It placed a driver between three large, plastic spinning spheres. A pusher propeller scooted the thing along. Over land, it worked as planned, but over water, the spheres began to dive when Lowery opened it up to speeds faster than 4 mph. He had bumped into a principle called the Coanda Effect: The water flowing below the spheres curved around them and dragged them toward it.

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How to set up mini motor speed measurement device

The speed measurement device include: electric motor, permanent magnets, magnets holder, Hall speed test board, Dupont Line.

1. Put the magnets in the holder.

2. The magnets have two poles, the Hall device is only effective for one pole, so first, we should check if the magnets are installed correctly.

Use oscilloscope to connected one output of the hall speed test board, connect the 5V power supply to the board, then move the magnets close.

3. Chek the oscilloscope output low, if not, change the magnets poles, if have, the installation is correct.

4. Use pen to mark.

5. Use strong glue to fix the magnets.

6. Use hexagonal screwdriver to fix the magnet holder to the motor shaft end.

7. Fix the motor on the small vehical basement holder.

8. Supply power to the motor, you can test the speed through the oscilloscope.

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How to Choose Mini Motor for RC Model Hobby

If make RC model project, we will use the mini motor. So how to choose the correct mini motor is very important.

The three kinds mini motors are often used for the RC model: DC Motor, Stepper Motor, and Servo Motor.

DC motor: It's used for drive the the robots movements. If connect power, the motor will continue working. If change the "+/-", the motor rotator direction will be changed. The DC motor price is low, very suitable for the most application.

         Mini DC Motor                                     Mini DC Gear Motor

Stepper Motor: It's a kind of DC motor, that can divide a full rotation into a large number of steps. The motor's position can be controlled precisely without any feedback mechanism (an open-loop controller), as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application.

Switched reluctance motors are very large stepping motors with a reduced pole count, and generally are closed-loop commutated.

The Stepper motor is often used for the robot arm.

Stepper Motor

Servo Motor: A servomotor is a motor which forms part of a servomechanism. The servomotor is paired with some type of encoder to provide position/speed feedback. A stepper motor is one type of servomotor. A stepper motor is actually built to move angular positions based upon each possible step around the entire rotation, and may include micro-steps with a resolution such as 256 micro-steps per step of the stepper motor. A servomechanism may or may not use a servomotor. For example, a household furnace controlled by a thermostat is a servomechanism, because of the feedback and resulting error signal, yet there is no motor being controlled directly by the servomechanism.

The servo Motor is often used for the robot head, arm, and foot.

Servo Motor

Mini Motor Specification:

Voltage: Normally the mini motor for small robots voltage is 1.5V-6V. The higher voltage, the higher speed. Sometimes also use the rated voltage 12V or 24V. The motor can work under the lower voltage, for example, the 12V motor can work under 8V voltage, but the speed will lower and torque will reduce. If motor long time woking under higher voltage (higher 30%-40% rated voltage), the motor will be hot, it's easy damged.

Current: The current have no-load current and load current. The load current is the real working current. If load reach the max, the motor will stop, the current will not increase.

Speed: the unit is r/min, the robots often need the motor speed is 100-200rpm, or lower. But the DC motor speed range is 4000-7000rpm, so it need lower the speed. You can add the gearbox to change the speed ratio.

Torque: torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist. The unit is g/cm.

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