Introducing robots that tilt solar panels
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Inside a fenced-in yard in an industrial corner of Menlo Park, Calif. — a few miles from the venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road, and the west span of the Dumbarton Bridge that stretches over the bay — robots have quietly been tending to two rows of solar panels. Every 40 minutes the robots adjust the tilt of the panels to face the sun as it moves across the sky — equipped with sensors, GPS and a wireless connection, the robots also continuously report back data about the panels to the solar project owner.
The robots, which represent an entirely new and potentially disruptive way of managing solar panels, won’t have to be under cover for much longer. Made by a new VC-backed startup called QBotix (which we briefly mentioned last month), the robots are making their public debut on Tuesday and Qbotix says its robots are being used for their first commercial installation at a solar panel project later this month.
“Think of it as a doctor going from one patient to the next, and in the process it’s sending information about the health of every tracker it visits,” Wasiq Bokhari, QBotix’s CEO, tells us during a visit to the site last week.