Sunbot swarm uses a slightly more complex circuit than the first Sunbot. A motor driver IC (L293D) as opposed to a transistor circuit allows the wheels of the bot to move backwards, which allows for greater navigational abilities and turning. An ultrasonic sensor is designed to help it avoid obstacles, though as the video shows, when the bots are different sizes and the sensors are in different places, they don’t “see” each other well. The bots also have IR emitters and receivers, in order to help them communicate if they’ve found an adequate amount of sun. However, in the conditions of this test, where the sunny area was limited, they in a sense competed for that small area. Next test will be to see if standardized bodies and sensor heights + changes to the code, can help prevent them from mauling each other.
The robots in this video were assembled by participants in a workshop at Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn, using recycled materials for the bodies.
Some photos from the workshop: