As I said in an earlier post, I’ve been working on some stuff lately that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “Urban Armor” umbrella. Here’s a piece from last Summer, a little robot to help my houseplants become more independent.

Tutorial for this one is here . I would classify this project as simple-medium. You do need to build a circuit to control the DC motors, but no motor shield required! (= money saved).

However in a similar robot I’ve been iterating lately I did find that the L239d, which is the IC in most motor shields, is helpful because it allows the bot to reverse and turn more gracefully. A good tutorial on how to get started with using that technique is here.

Next step for the Sunbot, aside from maybe swapping out the guts, will be to find a good recipe for bioplastic. I’d love to make the whole robot out of something biodegradable, so that in theory, the robot can really go into the wild, without causing any damage to the environment. I think casting the base will be easy, but I’m sure the wheels will prove tricky… as will the power situation. Right now I use a solar panel to charge a lipo battery, a solar panel alone doesn’t have enough juice to power the motors. Maybe I’ll start with  smaller plant for the next one…