[lasersaber] has a passion: low-power motors. In a bid to challenge himself and inspired by betavoltaic cells, he has 3D printed and built a small nuclear powered motor!
This photovoltaic battery uses fragile glass vials of tritium extracted from keychains and a small section of a solar panel to absorb the light, generating power. After experimenting with numerous designs, [lasersaber] went with a 3D printed pyramid that houses six coils and three magnets, encapsulated in a glass cloche and accompanied by a suitably ominous green glow.
Can you guess how much power and current are coursing through this thing? Guess again. Lower. Lower.
Under 200mV and 20nA!
The motor ended up being so responsive that the act of [lasersaber] holding two different metals would make it run; even a large metal ball acting as an antenna for ambient energy is sufficient to power the motor.
Last year we featured [NurdRage]’s photoltaic cell — the very same [lasersaber] based his build on. Be aware — these are properly radioactive elements so they must be treated with the caution and respect they deserve. Definitely not for building random number generators.
[Thanks for the tip, oxide!]