Brainstorm day with Edwin Dertien


First Collaboration partner

The best news is that Edwin managed to free time to come over to Madrid for the workshop from 1-5 june. So he can help us with the start of the work on the robot!

So today we devoted to preparation and brainstorm about the needed technology and the concept of the project. Also we made a shop list for solar panels and all electronics we now think we need.

The first conclusion was that if we directly connect the motor to the solar panel the concept would never work.

We decided we need in between two technological interventions: a capacitor/condenser that stores the power, and a trigger box that decides when to start and when to stop running.
Based on the test I did last weekend we decided that we best start thinking about a robot that either runs on a set speed, or stops totally to charge power.

The trigger box we imagined between the solar panel and the motor will consist of a microcontroller, connected to a sensor that sensors the power level of the capacitor, and a clock to measure time (but every microcontroller had a clock on board already) Also it needs two turn switches, to sat and tweak the thresholds.

We also figured two basic modes how the trigger box would work:
power mode and time mode so we also decided that the triggerbox needs a switch to switch from level 1 (power mode) to level 2 (time mode)

Power mode will work as follows:
The amount of voltage (threshold) in the capacitor determines the moment when the robot runs or stops.
For example:
At 10 volt start running
at 6 Volt stop running and start charging.
The expected drawing will consist of roughly equal lengths and sand heaps that differ in size: become smaller as the solar power increases.

Time mode will work as follows:
The charge time is set at 30 sec.
The robot starts running if the power level is 10 volt or more
If not, it will charge another 30 sec.
The expected drawing will consist of sand heaps that are portions of 30 sec “sand running” and of lengths that, when the solar power increases, become larger.

Intuitively I like the time mode best. But we better test this in Madrid with the team!
For now I am really happy that Edwin will come over to start us up. Edwin and me did collaborate on the sand drawing GPS robot and still do, and I really like to collaborate with him because he combines a lot of technical knowledge and inventiveness with the capacity to also communicate his knowledge and ideas.

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