Solar life

Designed by Brian Fields.

Photo ores

These creatures take many many forms. What they do it seek out the brightest area† and stay there until the light source changes. It is truly amazing what can happen when you have over 10 of these crazy critters going all over the place. Some interesting behaviors can emerge from these simple machines.






†††††††††††††††† Blue eyes was one of the first Photovores that I have created. Itís a Fred popper and took only about 45 minutes to make. The name I got because I ran out of other color heat shrink wrap and only had blue left so the name was born. The eyes are almost perfectly match at around 3k so it tracks light very well. The caps are 2 3300 so it takes rather large *jumps*. The pager motors and solar cell are from There is a trick to making a fred popper work right. Check in my circuit section to see what that trick is.

The only problem with this robot is that sometimes it will get confused when it runs into a shadow. I used to have 6 of these robots but they either got killed but a turbot or I hijacked their parts.

Blue Eyes

†††††††††† This is a 1381 photovore. Itís a kit that sells on that is really good. The kit is very well made. Its cheap too! It only cost 38.50 US. So if donít have the money to drop on Solarbotics photovore than I recommend this one. The only drawback to this kit though is that there is no place to put tactile sensors. Other than that I advise anyone to get this kit. His site is Also I have to tell you that the guy that runs that site is one of the nicest guys I have ever talked to. He went out of his way to help me with a broken kit.


†††††††††††††††† Tank is one of the coolest photovores that I have. Its circuit is a shok popper. It tracks light amazingly. The tank frame is from a mini r/c tank that I hacked into. The best part of this photovore is that it can handle almost any type of terrain. Under the two 4700 caps is a gear box that makes it possible for it to travel over any terrain. The motors that are in the gear box are much like the GM10 at solarbotics so they are pretty efficient . Tank is by far my favorite photovore that I have. Sadly to say that this robot is now dead. It had a deadly encounter with one of my turbots and got mangled beyond repair. R.I.P

Panel is another Fred popper, but with a slight twist. One motor is wired in reverse. It makes for a very interesting behavior. It takes a little longer to find the light pool but then when it does it will just sit there and spin in place until another robot bumps it out.

It uses 6 1000uf caps and regular pager motors. The solar cells are the same as the 24x33 Polycrystalline solar cells from Solarbotics.

PanelSolar BugCrab

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Crab is a photovore that has come back from the dead. When I fist got into Beam Robots this was one of the first robots I built. All it is are two Fled SEís hooked together and the solar cells (two 2422 SC from Solarbotics) of each SE is on opposite sides. I chose to be as basic as possible because I wanted a robot to represent the beginning of my Beaming. There are two caps for each SE. A 16V 2200uf(the big one) and a 6V 1500uf† totaling 3700uf,which gives it just under a half inch jump each time it fires. The motors are the RM1A from Solarbotics. The yellow thing sticking out the back is a 1uf cap that I attached to a motor because the motor was making a high pitch noise. As for performance I was rather surprised. It will go straight toward the light pool and manage to stay in the pool. The only downfall is that once it gets to the edge of the light pool it take a little while to turn around and get back in the pool. I guess I was surprised because the first one of these robots I built was rather ugly and poorly put together. This is the most basic photovore that you can make (that I know of anyway). As for the name I got it because I used to have Hermit Crabs as pets, and the picture on the bottom left looks somewhat like your looking at a Hermit Crab raising its Left Claw.