The Maryland Educational & Sustainable Activities Lab (MESA) Mobile is a large robot that has been constructed to serve as an outreach and educational tool. It is designed to demonstrate all components of solar power generation, storage, distribution and efficient use along with general technology and robotics.
All power used to power the robot is generated by its own solar power system. It contains a sun tracking 470 Watt, 2 panel solar array, Battery storage of 2.640 kW-Hr, as well as AC and DC power distribution. Recent upgrades to the robot include redesign of the solar mast, making the robot ~50lbs lighter and a front end suspension system to better handle off road driving conditions.
Current projects that are underway include making the robot capable of sensor driven autonomous tasks and visual tracking via the Kinect system.
In addition to being utilized for outreach, it is a tool for University of Maryland students to learn and build real world technologies. Those interested in learning more or joining the MESA team should contact Bryan Quinn (firstname.lastname@example.org