hydrogen powered vex (or potato powered... :D )

have a small device that spilts water into H and O2 and us it to power either a) a small generator or b) a charging device.

also cool: have a “charger/battery” for the vex that will run off of vegetables…kind of like a potato clock, but running the vex off of it. I don’t know if you’d get enough power to really do anything, but it’s kind of a cool idea… plus, the “battery” would be compostable, so bonus points for “green”.


A. Very expensive
B. Not the easiest thing to do

I dont think many vex users want rotten potatoes all over their house…

do u have any idea how many potatoes that would take? i could imagine it would take too much that it wouldnt be practical at all

If you want to get the hydrogen out of some water try this:


“Hydrogen collects around the cathode and the chlorine gas collects around the anode.”

Cathode generally means the negative side of a battery. The bubbles will be different sizes, the smaller ones are the hydrogen bubbles. Hydrogen is the fundamental building block of all atoms.



So the process of splitting water into Hydrogen and Oxygen is very electrically intensive (if that method is used). Added to that, hydrogen itself is very explosive.

A fuel cell might be interesting to run a robot with, but they’d be pretty expensive and again would run on inflammable fuel. Not a great combination for a target audience in middle and high school.

When you get down to it, a battery is just the cheapest, safest and probably the most efficient way at this time in our society to power toys.

You have brought up a very interesting subject! If you could somehow:

  1. Get some solar panels to track the sun and gain power,
  2. Transfers solor panels electricity into the water
  3. Collect separated gasses.
  4. Use the hydrogen gas/oxygen as a fuel for a device

To give you a little demonstration of the power of both gases mixed together, watch this.

I like your thinking, keep it up!


okay, so i totally forgot the whole “explosive factor” when posting this…

but still, along the “alternate power” thing…

here’s what we could do:

build an “old style”/homemade battery out of an electrolyte and copper and (I beleive this second metal is correct, but i may be wrong) zinc plates. Basically a pre-1983 (and thus solid copper) penny and a nail.

lemon juice actually works well.

also, Gatorade happens to be a very interesting electrolyte. And it turns first neon yellow and then black-green when you run electricty through it and throw in paperclips and pennies… :smiley:

i want to try this with various other drinks such as powerade and possibly some of the “energy drinks” out on the market.

oh, and, uh, this gets hot enough to cause severe burns, so be careful when trying at home.

anyhow, all we’d need is like a jar with valves in the lid, a copper piece, a zinc piece, and a tight seal so that you can add whatever.

i don’t know if this would generate enough to run anything, but hey, the first television presented a pink fuzzy picture and was made with knitting needles! :smiley:

thanks, just for the record. glad to know i’m not completely crazy. :smiley:

I though that the first television made a simple straight line? Or i could be wrong…whatever.

Just what you need, H2 and Cl2. Don’t breath either…

I know! Let’s use nuclear fission! JK

I think batteries are the most efficient. I did a science project in 5th grade that concluded that batteries are more efficient than gatorade-absorbed onions and all kinds of fruits. Just make sure you use rechargable batteries. Vex should make a charging dock. That would be cooooool!!!