Blubber bot

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Basically a helium filled BEAMbot that floats around looking for it's next food source while avoiding objects via bump sensors.


  • Lift per volume of Helium at 20 degrees Celsius and 101kPa 1.0365 kg/m^3.




  • I have obtained a blimp consisting of two envelopes(one blimp shaped, one saucer shaped), gondola, and controller. Gondola runs off a single 3V battery(a good sign) and the controller runs off a single 9V. --strages 20:16, 17 June 2009 (CDT)
  • I have obtained an ultra sound sensor kit and light to frequency converters. --strages 19:12, 11 July 2009 (CDT)
  • Helium has been purchased. --strages 13:44, 31 August 2009 (CDT)



Design ideas based on available sensors and previous works done by others.


BEAMbot concepts applied to commercially available RC blimp. Basing the biological aspect on the way a scallion sees using alternating photoresistors and IR LEDs around the sides of the blimp's envelope for simple object detection. Tests conducted at the shop have proven that the photoresistors are sensitive to IR and to eliminate falses we'll be placing an IR pass filter over each one. The resistance will lower the closer it gets to an object which will increase the voltage going to the motors. Likely will be using a solar cell + Joule thief + capacitor system to power it in indoor lighting.


Use of an arduino, IR, and ultrasound for complex object detection an avoidance. The use of a microcontroller opens up a lot of interesting things that can be done as far as various sensors and simple computer based vision. One could use a series of IR beacons to give it location awareness and the ability to find it's home for recharging.