I am a big fan the original Hexbug™ Spider. I have owned over a dozen and hacked them all. Anytime one of my sons goes to a friends’ birthday party, the friend gets a Hexbug™ spider as a gift. I have hacked the original spider to play football (http://youtu.be/h0BTYm1e5u0
) and follow lines (http://youtu.be/quDHhuEsxEg
). When I saw the Hexbug™ Spider XL at Target™, I immediately wanted to hack a smartphone to it and experiment with computer vision and robotics.
Step 1: Disassemble the Hexbug Spider
The Hexbug Spider is easily taken apart with a small phillips screwdriver. First remove the batter cover than remove the three screws in and around the battery holder. After the screws are removed, gently lift the top off the spider.
Step 2: Lift the Head Off the Spider and Remove the Circuit Board
Gently lift the head off the spider and remove the circuit board.
Step 3: Cut the Battery and Motor Wires at the Board and Strip the Ends
Cut the wires at the point that they connect to the board. There are three sets of wires: one set goes to the battery holder in the head (red/black), another set goes to the top motor, and the third set goes to the bottom motor. One motor has a brown and green wire, the other motor has a brown and black wire as pictured.
Strip approximately 1/4 inch of insulation off the end of all six wires.
Make sure the batteries have been removed from the battery holder.
Step 4: Remove the Plastic Insert in the Spider Head, Pull the Wires Through, and Replace the Head
Use long-nosed pliers to remove the plastic insert in the top of the spider then place top back on the spider and pull wires through hole left by the removed insert. Screw the top back on the spider using the same three screws removed earlier. Note: The motor and battery holder wires (arrow) sticking through the hole in the top made by removing the insert.