Cristian Hooker, Daniil Kardashov, Benjamin Lehmann, Brooke Ohlsson, Joshua Owens, Joseph Rios, Abraham Sheikh
The hedgehog concept for Gerald the Cutie Pie is to implement a simple end user-based design that involves low-cost materials and simple engineering to achieve a solution to a complex objective. Competitive cost efficacy is achieved with affordable, easily manufactured materials and only two motors. Most parts are 3D printed using PLA allowing the design to be light weight and easy to manufacture and assemble. This small heliostat involves the use of two motors and gear system to provide the azimuthal and elevation movements and will be controlled via a SparkFun Thing board capable of remote control via Wi-Fi. The reflective surface is a thin layer of silver under glass, which prevents oxidation and allows easy maintenance without sacrificing the highly desirable reflectivity of 95%. With only two motors, the design achieves a 120-degree field of rotation in the azimuthal direction and a 70-degree field of rotation in the elevation direction to achieve its goal of reflecting to a central tower. Thoughtfully designed, this heliostat provides the customer with a lifetime of up to 25 years to contribute towards a cleaner, greener future of energy.