QBotix Receives $1M From DoE to Advance Robotic Solar-Panel Technology
Energy Department Funds Development of Solar-Panel Robots: The QBotix tracking system, shown here, is a robotic system for tilting solar panels toward the sun that can increase the output of the panels by up to 15 percent. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company received a $1 million grant by the Department of Energy to advance its technology, funds it will use for future demonstrations and to add support for concentrated photovoltaics to the system, a company spokesman said. (Source: QBotix)
That's a good point about the expected deliverables. But, I think ROI will take more than 6-12 months. The US gov't doesn't historically get a quick return on investment. It would be interesting to look at how the development not only helps Qbotix but all solar companies.
More details from Qbotix on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKiDeEL0leY
Good points, jmiller - there are several variables to consider. Not only could the system optimize tracking with energy efficiency, I could also envision an automated protective cover for extreme weather protection (hail) and a system that could remove debris accumulation - perhaps some type of blower or rake - I wonder if that is on those systems...
Thanks for your comment, Greg. I agree, there should be some sort of barometer to ensure QBotix and other companies and organizations that have received these grants deliver on what they promise to advance alternative forms of energy.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.