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BEAM robots - 2009

This is something like my origin story... The first electronics I was interested in. Since I hadn't really been able to make anything complex and I had understand nothing, I've started with BEAM robotics. BEAM robots are based on a simple analog circuitry and usually powered by sun.

My first attempt used solar panels from calculators and one of the most widespread BEAM robot circuit to propel the robot forward. Very slowly... I admit.

BEAM robot 1

The Second attempt wasn't much better. This time I've invested into "real" silicon solar panels and immediately broke them into pieces. I've collected them and assembled (what was left of them) into my second robot.

BEAM robot 2

As I've learned some electronic basics, I've managed to build a bit smarter machine. It moved towards the sun and carried whiskers (tactile switches) to avoid obstacles. The whiskers did not worked at all, they've never touched the obstacle properly, they've never made contact. But the following-the-light-source function worked like a charm.

BEAM robot 3

Then winter came along and solar panels could no further provide enough power to support motors. So the next BEAM robot had to carry a battery on his back and like the one before, it should follow the light source. Sadly, it never worked very well and I've never been able to detect the cause. It is already disassembled nowadays, hence the bad image.

BEAM robot 5

A better version of the previous robot used a rechargeable battery and a single 74HC14 chip with a couple of leds. It worked really well and it lasted about 5 minutes on a single charge.

BEAM robot 4

After that I've focused more on learning to code and I've never made a BEAM robot since. But it was a great learning material and I will always cherish them:)