Solar Beetle

A fairly old project that I still had to post. A small car on solar power. It contains a circuit which charges a capacitor, when it's full the capacitor gets discharged trough the electric motor.

The left half of the solar panel is connected to the right motor and vice versa. This way he always turns to the light. Vehicles that exhibit this behavior are also known as Braitenberg vehicles.



The used solar cell belonged to an old garden lamp, the output in full sun is 2x 6V. There are 2 separate halves. The circuit contains 2x 10V 3300UF capacitor. They are charged with a simple circuit, when a certain voltage level is reached the capacitor is discharged through the motor (from a CDrom drive).

The circuit is configured so that the left half of the solar cell is connected to the right motor and vice versa. Thus, a gradual decrease in energy on the left side of the panel will send the car to the right. This way he looks for the light.

The antenna switches are also connected to the opposite motor, this will  make the car turn away from any obstacles. This doesn't work in frontal collisions.


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