A little spinning top that looks like a satellite in orbit. Click here to build this bot.

A little spinning top that looks like a satellite in orbit.
Click here to build this bot.

BEAM is field of robotics pioneered by Mark Tilden. BEAM robots often use deceptively simple designs with a minimalist aesthetic can often result in complex analog behavior. Keep an eye open for a post about Huey, one of Mark’s latest robots, later today.

You can try your own hand at building a very simple BEAM robot pet with this Solar Trimet Project.

A Trimet is a simple BEAM spinner with three symmetrically-balanced components. It incorporates a common BEAM solar power management circuit called a voltage-triggered solar engine. It is basically comprised of the solar engine, a DC motor scavenged from a cassette player, a solar cell, and three capacitors that store the energy from the cell (and also act as the main structure of the “bot”).

Scavenge your own parts or pick up a Make Robot Bundle.


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This week marks the official launch of Make: Volume 39 — Robotics, which drops on newsstands the 27th. Be sure to grab a copy at a retailer near you, or subscribe online right now and never miss another issue.

We are celebrating with five days of robot-related articles, pictures, videos, reviews and projects. Tune into this space for Robot Week!