Here we will talk about alternative ways to power a robot.
Well known toy roboticist Mark Tilden (creator of the Wowwee Toy companies Robosapien toy robot) and others has been involved in alternative robot design and solar power for decades now.
One of Marks solar projects for many years was the Solarbotics.net project as well as his passion with the BEAM project (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, Mechanics) .
The Solarbotics.com company was started by Dave Hrynkiw in 1994 and it has an amazing collection of Solar powered products and other electronics hobbyist supplies available. They have a physical store in Canada (Calgary) and of course have distributors and can ship worldwide.
On the Solarbotics website, Dave can be seen wearing the same type of hat (maybe a Tilley hat) that Mark Tilden always wore when out in public in North America and in Hong Kong.
Dave still maintains the original 1990’s solarbotics.net website although he has said in the past that one day he hopes to update its 1990’s simple HTML look.
Here is a link to Mark Tildens original patent on the BEAM technology but this patent apparently expired years ago. http://solarbotics.net/bftgu/patent.html
Now solar power is usually thought as only power from the sun.
But anyone who has ever used a small solar powered math calculator will notice the the calculators will continue to work in a windowless room almost forever as long as the lights are on in the room.
This is because the solar panels will create electricity if the sun is shining on them or some other type of light is shining on them like flourescent or incandesant light bulbs.
Light is light as far as the solar panels are concerned.
However the sun creates much more electric power than an indoor light bult would create.
A 100 wat light bulb might only generate 2 wats for a device like a calculator.
The difference with most small solar power calculators is that they require a tiny amount of power and the solar panel will keep it powered but will not store the power in its battery because the calculator battery is usually silver oxide button batteries that to this day are not recharegable.
(under construction Aug 23, 2021)