October 26, 2021

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Tiny BEAM Robot Smiles Big at the Sun

Tiny BEAM Robot Smiles Big at the Sun
Tiny BEAM Robot Smiles Big at the Sun

What have you been working on during the Great Chip Shortage? [NanoRobotGeek] has been living up to their handle and building BEAM robots that are smaller than any we’ve seen before. What are BEAM robots, you say? Technically it stands for Biology Electronics Aesthetics and Mechanics, but basically the idea is to mimic the movement of bugs, usually with found components, and often with solar power. Here’s a bunch of tutorials to get you started.

The underbelly of what might be the world's smallest BEAM robot.
This was before the large, flat storage capacitor came and covered everything up.

This here is an example of a photovore or photopopper — it moves toward light using simple logic by charging up a capacitor and employing a voltage monitor to decide when there’s enough to run two tiny vibration motors that make up its legs and feet.

[NanoRobotGeek] started in a great place when they found these 25% efficient monocrystalline solar panels. They will even make the bot move indoors! If you want to build one of these, you can’t beat [NanoRobotGeek]’s guide. Be sure to watch it toddle around in the demo video after the break.

We love to see people work at all different scales. Last time we checked in with [NanoRobotGeek], they had built this solar-powered ball-flinging delight.