mssjs
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:59 am
Occupation: Teacher

Light Tracking Robot

Postby mssjs » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:08 am

This might sound like a stupid question.. but one of my students wants to build this for their science fair project. However, I am wondering, does it need to be dark in the room for this to work, or will it work as long as a flashlight is being used to move the robot? We are trying to decide if she can do this or if maybe it would be easier to build the solar powered one instead.

Thanks for any advice. :)

tdaly
Former Expert
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:27 pm
Occupation: Planetary Scientist

Re: Light Tracking Robot

Postby tdaly » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:55 am

Hi mssjs,

As long as the flashlight is bright, I think the project should work with the lights on. If your student tries the project and runs into hiccups along the way, then check out the FAQs for the project.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... #question4
All the best,
Terik

mssjs
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:59 am
Occupation: Teacher

Re: Light Tracking Robot

Postby mssjs » Thu May 11, 2017 6:17 am

Has anyone figured out how to combine the circuits to make the light tracking, solar powered robot yet? She was interested in getting this to work but I have no idea where to start. I printed both pictures of the breadboards to view similarities and differences. But I don't really know much about breadboards and their functionality when it comes to where wires need to go..

bfinio
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Re: Light Tracking Robot

Postby bfinio » Mon May 15, 2017 6:15 pm

Hi mssjs,

We have a pretty detailed breadboard tutorial that might be a huge help if you have not looked at it yet, especially the video at the beginning:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... oard.shtml

To do what you're describing, start with the final circuit for the light-tracking robot (this image):

http://www-cdn.sciencebuddies.org/Files ... uit-22.png

Your goal is to remove the battery power and make this same circuit run on solar power instead. So first, disconnect the wires from the battery pack (remove the red wire in J7 and the black wire in J11).

Now the challenge is that you need to cram both solar cells into an already crowded breadboard. Looking at the diagram, I believe you could do it like this (again this might get a little crowded):

- Plug the orange wire from one solar panel into J7, and the black wire into D9
- Plug the orange wire from the other panel into E9, and the black wire into J11

This effectively uses empty space on the breadboard to add the two solar cells "in series" (meaning you connect them one after the other, so their voltages add up - using a single solar cell by itself would not be enough to power the robot). You connect them to the same holes the battery pack used to be connected to, so that way you don't need to change the rest of the circuit. Hope that helps, let us know if it works or you have more questions.

-Ben


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