Introduction: Ultracapacitor Powered Robot

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

Little Flash is a 3d printed robot powered by ultracapacitors. To prevent getting stuck, she uses a bump switch and random path adjustments. She runs for 25 minutes and can be charged in about 40 seconds using a 10 amp constant current power supply.


(2) Metal Gear "no stop" servo motors

(2) Vacuum cleaner belts

(3) 350 farad capacitors

(1) Roller switch

(1) On/off switch

(1) Arduino Uno

(1) Arduino Motor Shield

(1) DC to DC converter

(1) Cable set with a male and female connector

(1) 10 amp constant current bench type power supply

Step 1:

Print the 3d printed parts needed.

Step 2:

For a metal gear drive motor, easy to attach to wheels via servo horn, I modified a "no stop" servo motor.

Start by removing the four screws in the bottom of the case.

Step 3:

Next, cut the two wires from the circuit board that go to the motor.

Step 4:

Cut the three wires from the circuit board to the potentiometer. Remove the circuit board.

Step 5:

Take the two wires from the motor and solder extender leads.

Step 6:

Push the solder connection joints into the cavity of the servo motor housing.

Step 7:

Screw the bottom cover back into place.

Step 8:

Take the 3d printed wheels and add vacuum cleaner belts for tires.

Step 9:

Attach the Servo horn using 3mm screws.

Step 10:

Solder the capacitors in series and place them in the 3d printed capacitor holder (along with the on/off switch). Solder the (female) charging cable.

Step 11:

Attach the Arduino (with motor control shield) and dc-dc converter to the back of the blue capacitor holder. I used velcro for attachment.

Step 12:

Attach the lever switch and bracket to the robot body.

Step 13:

Add the "bump switch blade" to the lever switch bracket using 3mm screws. The blade should move very freely.

Step 14:

Secure the motors to the robot body (3mm screws). Add the wheels to the motor shaft (using the servo horn screw). Attach the capacitor holder to the robot body using screws. Attach the caster ball holder to the robot body using screws.

Step 15:

Insert the caster ball.

Set the output voltage for the converter to about 8 volts. Program the Arduino, charge the capacitors and she's ready to run.

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