How could a robot protect itself from solar flares? Especially that there is no close planet with a magnetic field.

They are humans in a robot's body (cyborgs?) that choose to work in mining after losing their bodies, they have their brains inside the robot (Sci-Fi :D), they are mining in an astroid-belt very similar to our astroid-belt conditions (far from the sun, so it won't get hit by many solar flares but that doesn't mean 0),

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    $\begingroup$ Definitely need more info. What sort of robot. What sort of solar flare. Distance? Why is the robot vulnerable in the first place, as their radiation resistance should be several thousand times better than organics. Etc. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Aug 29, 2021 at 16:57

4 Answers 4


What is a solar flare?

A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours. We typically see a solar flare by the photons (or light) it releases, at most every wavelength of the spectrum. The primary ways we monitor flares are in x-rays and optical light. Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated.

Since they are made of photons and particles, the best protection is offered by a medium which can shield both. A magnet would do nothing against photons.

The shield can be made with water, which is rather dense and has a good stopping power against protons, being hydrogen rich.


First of all, let's refresh what a solar flare is


It EM flash with or without coronal ejection. Without there is nothing special about it, more or less.

With mass ejected it a bit more interesting.

But the point is it not an emp blast next to a robot, so EM part does nothing.

And particles they are not gammarays and do not penetrate stuff that well.

So if they are mining, let them mine, inside the thing, few meters of asteroid gravel will be already a sufficient cover, considering proposals on what is safe conditions for humans during earth mars jorney.

So your robots are safe enough when they are doing work, or otherwise having few meters layer above their heads.


I assume that the problem you want to solve is that the cybernetic brain could somehow be corrupted or deleted entirely. (Whether or not that's plausible doesn't matter because this is your world).

One option could be automatic backups to a storage medium which is immune to solar flares. When the cyborg gets knocked out by a solar flare, their mind gets automatically rebooted from the last backup. The side-effects could be a gap in memory and an offline time which could be as long as your plot demands.



magnet and screen


This is relevant to the old style deep box TVs and monitors. And video games.

If you put the magnet near the TV, if it is strong enough you will see strange patterns appearing on the screen, that move with the magnet. The picture is formed by firing a beam of electrons (a sub atomic particle that is normally found wizzing around an atom) from electron guns at the back of the TV to the screen at the front. This gives the electrons lots of energy which they transfer to the screen. This energy is transferred to little blobs of phosphor on the back of the screen. Phosphors are materials which tend to give out energy as light so they glow...

A magnetic field deflects the electrons so they end up going to the wrong place. This has the effect of both moving the whole picture and sometimes moving the electron beam that should be forming the red part of the picture onto another colour, so everything looks the wrong colour.

Here the electrons are playing the role of the solar wind. Solar wind contains charged particles other than electrons but the principle is the same. You can alter the path of these particles with a magnet.

Your robot could have fixed magnets on it. Or it could have long coils through which is runs a current, to produce an electrical field - an electromagnet. I submitted an idea once on how to protect a Mars mission from charged particles using electromagnets.

Your robot could be named Magneta. I insist she be painted hot pink.

  • $\begingroup$ Will it have side effects on the robot itself? Also, thanks for the name and the color idea, since I have a problem with naming, so mostly I will use it. $\endgroup$
    – Khalid
    Aug 29, 2021 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Khalid - if you have a robot that is vulnerable to electromagnetic fields, you can make sure you arrange the fields such that they shield from charged particles but do not interfere with the robot. A robot that was damaged by magnetic fields would be one that would have antennae with magnetic fields out at the ends of them, away from the robot. Or possibly carried the magnetic fields on a parasol-like device. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Aug 29, 2021 at 18:12

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