Robots are great! Coding is awesome!
Put these two together and you have… nothing. Nothing, without power that is.
Our mighty CrumbleBots need energy to move, light up, follow lines, and dance the night away. This power comes in the form of a few AA batteries.
These batteries join forces to create electrical pressure in the CrumbleBot that pushes electrical current through all of the little bits and bobs that make it shine. This push is what we call Voltage -- about 4.5 V to be precise.
But how do batteries work? Do they store electricity? Well, not exactly. Electricity is a mover and a shaker. You just can’t keep it in one place. Instead, batteries store a couple of chemicals. One chemical desperately wants to hand off its electrons to the other chemical. But like Romeo and Juliet, in a cruel twist of fate, we place a wall between these star crossed lovers and prevent them from ever meeting.
But there is a way. If we connect a copper wire from the chemical on one side (-) to the chemical on the other (+), the electrons can go around the wall through the wire and meet their fate. They come full circle. Place a robot in the middle of that circle and it can grab the energy of the rushing torrent of electricity to power it’s lights, sensors, and motors. And off it goes!
How do batteries work? The contents of a Duracell are no great mystery. You can even make your own.
Check out the links below for a few tips on how to build simple batteries using Coke, salt water, lemons, or even pencil leads.
Batteries bring your coding skills to life!