Rotating solar panel

This is a project my students implemented during the 2017-2018 evening club  Young Hackers. It is a demanding project for elementary school students and it took us many meeting to accomplish. It contains a small 5V solar panel that can rotate in two axis so as to harvest maximum power from the sun. The project is based on the Dual Axis Solar Tracker Project from OpenSourceClassroom.

Students used their tinkercad accounts to design and test the schematics. Besides Arduino we used:

  • Two servo motors
  • For LDR sensors
  • Two potentiometers
  • A push button
  • Two led lights
  • Various resistors

Students worked in groups in a production line style to complete the tasks. (wire soldering, wire insulating, parts screwing etc.).

Production line
During the assembly
Wire insulating
Soldering
Assembly

We wanted to implement two modes in the final product.

  • A manual mode – controlled by two pots.
  • An auto mode – controlled with four light sensors.

In order to achieve that we programmed the device to change between modes with the help of a push button. The programming was done in tinkercad.

Students presented their work in various festivals and exhibitions at the end of the school year.

Student exhibition

Line follower with Arduino

An Arduino project implemented in the Robotics club “Young Hackers” in our school (Experimental Elementary School of Florina).

Bill of materials:

  • 1 Arduino Uno
  • 2 dc gear motors with wheels
  • 1 L293D driver for controlling the motors
  • 1 Infrared Obstacle Avoidance Sensor
  • 1 Infrared Tracking sensor
  • 2 battery cases and ΑΑΑ batteries
  • 1 switch
  • Jumper wires
  • 1 Breadboard

At first we used a pre-cut plexiglass frame for our vehicle. Later on our students designed and made their own frame using cardboard and a table tennis ball along with a 3d printed design (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1728714) as a castor wheel.

In order to connect the two motors to Arduino and the L293D driver we followed instructions students found on line and are depicted in the following image.

We connected the two motors to PWM pins in Arduino so as to control the speed (0-255 values) and not just their state (on-off).

The schematic and program was made using tinkercad where all our students have accounts. You can see the final design and program here: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/0ZTQYQ60tYK

Our students presented the line follower on various festivals and exhibitions at the end of the year.

The final result
Cardboard frame
Cardboard frame
Plexiglass frame

Mars Colony

This is the plan and implementation from the team Top Six (students in Robotics Club) for the “2018 PanHellenic Robotics Competition: Living on Mars”.

Some of the problems we will have to face on Mars

  • Too thin atmosphere and lack of oxygen
  • Low Gravity
  • Sandstorms

Students proposals:

  • Create domes that will contain earth-like atmosphere and oxygen generated by power plants.
  • Sandstorm protection shields
  • Rotating habitats for compensating the lack of gravity.

The lego construction:

  • A rotating sandstorms shield (Building instructions)
    • When there is high wind (microphone) it enables the warning lights.
    • When the storm cloud is near (motion sensor) the shield starts rotating.
    • When the cloud goes away (motion sensor) the shield stops rotating.
  • Oxygen plant (Building instructions)
    • A piston and fan that can count the tons of oxygen created with the tilt sensor.
  • Artificial Gravity (Building instructions)
    • The habitat inside the dome is rotated so as to create artificial gravity.
    • A motion sensor counts the number of rotations

Outcomes:

Tourism on Mars!

This is the plan and implementation from the team Top Mars (students in Robotics Club) for the “2018 PanHellenic Robotics Competition: Living on Mars”.

Let’s go a vacation to Mars!

  • A serious prospect for income in order to finance Mars Colonization will be tourism.
  • Mars has plenty of sightseeing!
  • We should build tourism infrastructure to attract visitors to Mars.

Students Proposal:

Outcomes:

Mars Space Elevator

This is the plan and implementation from the team IQ Robots (students in Robotics Club) for the “2018 PanHellenic Robotics Competition: Living on Mars”.

Mining in Mars

  • There are strong evidence that Mars has great quantities of useful ore like Aluminum, Magnesium, Titanium, Chromium, Gold etc.
  • Some scientists believe that we could create mines on Mars.
  • In order to export ore from Mars mines in a sustainable way we could build a space elevator to transfer the ore outside the Mars atmosphere.

Students proposal

  • An automate vehicle to transfer ore from the mines to the elevator (Initial design)
  • An automated space elevator to transfer ore outside the Mars atmosphere to docking platforms. (Initial design)

Outcomes