Solar Powered Robot — UV Index vs. Solar Energy

If you’ve been around the Digilent Blog, you’ve probably seen a lot of robots. Remember Susan the Line-Following Pig? Well, I recently found a small, portable solar panel in the MakerSpace at Digilent and I was inspired to build a solar-powered robot. Similar to Susan, I will be using the chipKIT Pro MX4 and the Digilent Motor Robot Kit (MRK) for my solar-powered design. However, when I first came up with this idea, it was the middle of winter. That being said, sunlight was quite a bit more scarce, especially up here in Pullman, WA. I first had to ask an important question: will I have enough sun?

Being Green with DIY Solar Panel Improvements

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re wondering how to celebrate and add some green to your life, consider this — improving your solar panels with a microcontroller! This project from Hackaday uses an Arduino to harvest more energy from the panel than would otherwise be available.