A week ago we looked at the beginnings of Endurance’s 3D printed BB-8 SelfieBot. The company has continued with the project, adding upgrades!
It now functions outdoors without batteries or connection to a power supply. How? Solar panels!
Installing the solar panels
Endurance put together a chain of 2 small solar panels (5 volts each). Using a serial connection, they obtained the output power of 10 V and 800 mAh. That’s not a lot of juice, but on a good sunny day, the robot will work. For the BB-8 operation they need also a charged phone/tablet, which can be charged with the same solar panels. Endurance decided to add one tidbit – a wireless charger. It consists of two units: a charger itself and a receiver to be connected to the smartphone via a micro USB-port.
There’s a kind of platform with a hidden reel inside, which generates electromagnetic field. Another plate transforming the electromagnetic field into the electric power to charge the telephone is connected to the telephone.
Obviously, the efficiency of this charger is low. The maximum current is 800 мАh.
Nonetheless, in sunny weather the SelfieBot is able to work powered by only three solar panels. Obviously the bigger the panel, the better.
As it is noisier outdoors than indoors, and the telephone/tablet speakers are not powerful enough, Endurance decided to additionally connect another passive speaker to BB-8 via mini jack. This is possible as the movement controls for BB-8 are done via wifi, and Bluetooth controls the electronics.
Stay tuned for more updates on the project’s progress, including improving the stability, improvement to noise insulation and painting the BB-8!
Endurance are also working on creating a GoPro mount, a wireless charger mount and improving the fasteners for easier assembly.
You can make your own robot using the DIY SelfieBot program.