Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Scroll to top


One Comment

Solarbots_Adaptive Strategy Using Pneumatic system

Solarbots_Adaptive Strategy Using Pneumatic system
  • On March 23, 2018

For the project fair we exhibited our collection of solar robot and solar apparatus using pneumatic systems

Collection of Solarbots



Rollingcube_center core detail

Rolling cube_Joint detail





Tribot_ joint details


Tribot_ air muscle connection details


Tribot_ air muscle connection details 2


 Technical aspects: 

  Solar Tracking system

  •  Gis data is inserted into Grasshopper and Ladybug to produce SunPath simulation then the vertex points are translated to 4  servos to control the 2 axis of the plan of the solar panel

   Soft Actuators

  •  Used in order to reduce the amount of mechanical parts, made of silicon and 3D printed custom molds to ensure air chambers while tube connectors transferred air.

   Air Muscles

  • Nylon mesh wire, balloon membrane , and custom 3d printed valve






  • Fall to the grid / capture the grid
  • Electrical vehicles and smart vehicles as a reference
  • What happens when it’s a cloudy day and the Solar-bots are not fully charged, perhaps machines are not always readily available whenever user demands instant gratification. The public users should learn to understand the consequences of solar powered robots as an ecology of the environment that they inhabit.
  • Led Lighting with very slow change to allow more user interactivity (emotional connection)
  • Color change when battery is used up, and when it’s at a different state
  • Perhaps the motion of the panels could open up like a flower with the LED lighting combined.
  • Surfaces that is able to open up or fold up to optimize more solar intake, flexible  material technology should be considered


  • Reference to Robot that is able to grip to the outside of the building and sense what needs to be changed in order to monitor the energy consumption of the inhabitants. This act almost like a smart home system. The Robot is able to change humidity, temperature, and sense the users need by tracking the the user and reduce the amount of energy consumption
  • Reference to Olafur Eliasson ‘s  Little Sun Lamp Project, it’s solar-powered lamp for parts of the world without electricity and provides to also charge phones.
  • Educate the users to understand  sustainability, how energy usage can be shared and saved and introduce the idea of collective sharing.
  • A game theory strategy could be introduced  that ties in with the feedback of the overall energy consumption of the Solarbots, for instance individual Solarbots could give user bonus points on an app interface where they can collect points by doing the right action and network enables the user and their friends to encourage each other to earn more points by saving energy.
  • The focus of the sustainability  in this project could allow users to be aware of their actions on energy consumption and learn to rethink about our current mentality of Instant gratification.



  • In order to establish an emotional engagement with the Solarbots, it is important to analyze the human behavior , for instance how does a person react when they are hesitant, how do their actions convey their emotions, they might be moving back and forth. It would be interesting to have a catalog of motions that conveys the followings emotions eg,  excitement, hesitation, annoyance, boredom or sadness to help Solar bot communicate with the users.
  • Understanding human rhythm might also be another area of research to further specify movements, Solarbots perhaps have their own rhythm that is able to communicate its’ emotional , spacial or temporarily  means.
  • How could Solarbots attract humans, perhaps through lighting and a gradual change of warm lighting or other aspects to make people more engaged.
  • The social intention of the project could also become educational for the public to learn about energy sharing and consumption but through a much more empathetic way by programming solar-bots with emotional responses such as , withdrawing from the public or wanting to have attention when it has energy or when energy is used up


  • It’s important to focus on renewable energy and have more strategic better design solutions,since there’s a real lack of renewable energy usage in architecture besides large corporate companies that has invested in it.
  • Better integrated photovoltaic / renewables energy , structures , robots , installations
  • Drones might be a interesting way to approach this collective energy sharing concept, by distributing





  1. It’s an amazing post designed for all the internet users; they will take benefit from it I am sure.

Submit a Comment