Solar energy for cheaps

The robot will need all the power it can get, and solar panels has been a part of the plan from the start.

However, two problems with solar power has been evident that I have not been able to figure out:

  • They are prohibitively expensive!
  • They are fragile

Actually the last point may be a solution to both problems in a wired way, because I just discovered that solar cell manufacturers actually sell left over broken cells cheaply by weight or watt. Since they are already broken they will be less likely to break (smaller pieces) and fitting them into a lattice or grid will provide a flexible layout with the redundancy necessary to sustain power after loosing a single cell.

The plan is thus to buy some broken panels, cut them roughly to size and stitch them together in a grid with redundant connections.


How are lubricants classified & graded?

After reading the manula of the emco F1P CNC Mill and learning that it recommends 4 different lubricants for different parts of the machine I have attained a genuine interest in learning more about lubricants, so I have now asked a question on the chemistry stack site, asking exactly how they are classified and graded.

You can find it here.


Unboxing (unbagging)? of IOIO OTG

This is my second IOIO OTG. The first one was DOA.

UPDATE: DO NOT ORDER THESE, they were all DOA. Recommended supplier of IOIO is sparkfunn and seeedstudio.


This time I ordered x2 to make sure I didn't get a bad one again (returns takes ridiculously long time sometimes).

It is designed by this guy, manufactured by geeetech and was delivered by dx.com.

It promises to give you access to hardware comfortably from your Java IDE, Normally an idea I don't like but in the name of efficiency I decided to go this route instead of working my way through all the low level C/C++/AVR stuff to get some motors and servos moving.

The idea is to use it for prototyping and when it gets serious I will port my efforts to more robust platforms.

IOIO OTG with bluetooth adpater in the bag
IOIO OTG with bluetooth adapter unbagged