Greetings True Believers! We're back! Again! I'd like to thank all of you that have kept the faith, and also welcome the newcomers.
All right, here's the latest: the Emergence Project lost momentum for a while, but we're back up and running again. The last week has been spent trying various solar cell / battery / charging circuit combinations, attempting to hit the bots' butter zone for power use vs. charge rate, as well the components that would be needed. This process has proved to be incredibly irritating. So, seeing as how the credit cards are finally clear of the holiday purchases, it was decided to cut through the Gordian Knot and just order a battery charging board.
The board is specifically made for use with solar cells, and will also allow us to move to lithium ion batteries as opposed to NiCads. As an added benefit, we found some very cheap lithium batteries, originally made for use with Canon camcorders.
The power system is the last of our major technical hurdles. While the charging boards have officially put us over budget, we've decided that just biting the financial bullet is the best thing to do for the project. At some later date we may come back to revisit the issue and drop the price per bot back down, but right now, it's time to put our collective heads down and power forward. The vast majority of our parts are in and ready to go, so once we get this issue nailed down, we should start rolling downhill fairly quickly. Hopefully.