Little Flash Charges In 40 Seconds Thanks To Super Capacitors

We’ve all committed the sin of making a little arduino robot and running it off AA batteries. Little Flash is better than that and runs off three 350 F capacitors.

In fact, that’s the entire mission of the robot. [Mike Rigsby] wants people to know there’s a better way. What’s really cool is that 10 A for 40 seconds lets the robot run for over 25 minutes!

The robot itself is really simple. The case is 3D printed with an eye towards simplicity. The brains are an Arduino nano and the primary input is a bump sensor. The robot runs around randomly, but avoids getting stuck with the classic reverse-and-turn on collision.

It’s cool to see how far these capacitors have come. We remember people wondering about these high priced specialty parts when they first dropped on the hobby scene, but they’re becoming more and more prevalent compared to other solutions such as coin-cells and solder tab lithium batteries for PCB power solutions.

10 thoughts on “Little Flash Charges In 40 Seconds Thanks To Super Capacitors

  1. Wire gauge of the wire dont seem to be adequate, definitely not in tune with the relay used…
    Supercap are not the best for storing energy,very low energy density, lithium titanate charged at 20C are the way to go.

    1. Do you see any evidence of charring or melting on the wires that would lead you to say that the gauge is not “adequate”? The “very very conservative” AWG chart says 10 A can be safely carried by chassis wiring of 20 AWG. It also says “For short lengths of wire, such as is used in battery packs you should trade off the resistance and load with size, weight, and flexibility.”

      Your “lithium titanate charged at 20C” is most certainly NOT the way to go if you want your device to charge in 40 seconds, which is the whole point here.

  2. If you really need to charge your robot in a minute, you can do that with supercaps. They also have a good lifetime.
    But they are really big and expensive for the capacity that they provide.

    1. It’s a toy. You don’t need efficiency, you need something practical, very practical. A robot that is bulky but charges in under a minute is more interesting to kids than a lean, light robot that charges in an hour.

      Specially if the bulky one makes funny noises while is charging. A minute of noises is better than an hour.

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