Roller (BEAM)

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In BEAM robotics, a Roller is a robot that exhibits locomotion by rolling all or part of the robot.


  • Symets: Driven mode of locomotion via a single motor. The robot is powered by a solar engine circuit that drives it by charging either three or four capacitors, then releasing the stored energy in a single 'burst' of power for a period of time, it then stops again to recharge, re-starting the cycle. The capacitors are arranged in either a triangular or square pattern along the cylindrical part of the motor; the capacitors are arranged so that they act as rests on which the motor shaft (acting as the 'wheel' for this robot) is balanced out on two other skids. The symmetrical design allows the robot to change direction when it hits an obstacle by tipping onto another set of two side capacitors, which then cause it to move in another direction.
  • Solarrollers: Driven mode of locomotion by a single motor; Solar-powered BEAMbots attempt to complete a fairly short, straight and level course in the shortest amount of time. They are driven by a "solar engine" circuit; the circuit is designed so that it charges up energy gained from the solar panels and then releases it in one continuous burst; the two main types of solar engines are the FLED engine, which uses a flashing LED to regulate the power, and a 1381 engine, which uses a 1381 voltage regulator to decide when to release the energy.
  • Poppers: Driven mode of locomotion by multiple motors; uses differential sensors to achieve a goal.
  • Miniballs: Driven mode of locomotion via one or two motors; the entire robot body is caused to move by turning over (on an axis) while on the ground.