Solar-Powered Airplane Science Project Kit (for Kids)
ToyLabs, Inc. a Silicon Valley start-up that specializes in educational, build-and-play projects that teach kids the fundamental principles of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), announces the Volta Flyer project, a DIY science kit packaged with all the prefabricated components necessary to build and fly the solar-powered airplane. The Volta Flyer uses a thin-film amorphous silicon solar "panel-on-wing" design technology and unique power management system to power flights without batteries. By assembling and flying the Volta Flyer, kids discover the world of aeronautics, solar energy, mechanical engineering, and electronics - all through the timeless excitement of achieving flight.
"We're extremely excited to announce the Volta Flyer via a Kickstarter campaign," said Tim Curley, ToyLabs' Founder. "Following the success of our first product, the Volta Racer, we wanted to take science education to new heights - literally. Our goal with the Volta Flyer is to spark the imagination of kids by engaging them in hands-on STEM experiments in flight and clean energy that really brings science learning to life."
Using an extremely lightweight and efficient amorphous silicon solar panel built on a flexible polymer substrate allows the Flyer to harness the sun's energy from numerous angles and eliminates the need for batteries. Point the solar panel towards the sun for 90 seconds and then hand-launch the Flyer into the air with a flip of a button to initiate propulsion. Depending on weather conditions, the Flyer achieves about 30 seconds of flight time on average (longer with good thermals). The Volta Flyer employs robust super-lightweight, eco-friendly materials to enable repeated use and hours of outdoor fun. Kids young and old can assemble the Volta Flyer in as little as 20 minutes without the use of special tools or glues.
"The Volta Flyer promotes learning-by-doing, encouraging kids to build technology-based science projects that take them outdoors to engage in the physical world through active play and discovery," Curley added. "With the Volta Flyer, kids gain confidence when exploring science hands-on - which often inspires them to explore STEM subjects further." The Volta Flyer solar project officially debuted via Kickstarter on November 17th, with plans to ship in the US in March 2016.
For immediate shipment, ToyLabs also offers the Volta Racer for $25.00. Powered by the sun, the Volta Racer uses advanced flexible solar technology to power its drive train. Volta Racerâ€™s chassis, frame and wheels are made of super lightweight and durable recyclable materials. The axles are made of bamboo â€“ a strong natural wood resource (Thomas Edison used bamboo as the light filament in the worldâ€™s first incandescent light bulb). Once assembled â€“ let the sun power your fun.
Volta Racer ships to you as a DIY kit. Right out of the box â€“ it requires nothing more than your bare hands and about 15 minutes of your time to assemble. The frame and chassis allows you to experiment with two different solar panel configurations and two speed gear modes. Parents and Teachers can use the Volta Racer to teach the basic principles of solar, renewable energy and mechanical engineering concepts to kids. Basic specifications include: Length, 7:5â€; Width, 4â€; Height, 3.5â€; and a Polycrystalline Solar Panel that produces 0.75W at 5V.