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Solar-powered Volta Racer is flexible about finding sunlight


March 23, 2013

The Volta Racer is powered by a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel

The Volta Racer is powered by a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel

If you want to teach children about hydrogen power, you can always buy them a fuel cell-powered toy car like the H-ROVER or the H2GO. Should you wish to show them the merits of solar power, there are also quite a number of solar panel-equipped cars from which to choose. ToyLabs’ new Volta Racer, however, is reportedly the first toy car to feature a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel.

The main advantage of the flexible panel lies in the fact that it can capture sunlight from a wider variety of angles than a rigid panel. Presumably, it’s also a little more damage-resistant – a prime consideration with kids’ toys.

The car itself is reportedly made from “super-lightweight, eco-friendly, recyclable materials” (including bamboo axles) and can be put together without tools in about 15 minutes. Users can choose between assembling it in either of two solar panel configurations, and using either high- or low-speed gearing. It can move over a variety of terrains.

It is not remotely-controlled, but instead just boogies along in a straight line, or in a circle if the front axle is first angled accordingly by the user. It doesn't have a battery (yet), but ToyLabs founder Tim Curley informs us that "it runs as long as the sun is shining."

The Volta Racer is available in five colors, and is priced at US$24.99. It can be seen in action below.

Source: ToyLabs

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

So, what makes it a "racer"? I think most kids would be bored with this in minutes. At least it's a start.

Dan Parker

yep, it's a start...

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