In this instructable I will demonstrate how to use Legos, Snap Circuits, and the Spy Video Trakr to create a remote controlled grabber bot. I will demonstrate how to download and install the C language compiler for the Trakr. Next I’ll explain how to compile a simple program and install it on the Trakr and then run this simple program. Then I will demonstrate how to open up the Trakr, attach jumper pins to the GPIO connections on the circuit board of the Trakr. With the jumper pins installed I'll show you how to tap into the 9 volt power supply of the trakr and make connection cables to connect to Snap Circuits and the Lego motor. The Lego grabber arm will need to be mounted on the Trakr so, I'll show you how to attach a payload deck made out of Legos. Finally I'll provide you with the C language code that you can compile and install on the Trakr to operate the remote controlled grabber bot.

The Spy Video Trakr is a remote controlled robot equipped with a microphone and color video camera, speaker, a near infrared LED for night vision, an SD memory card slot for recording audio/video and 8MB of on board memory for storing downloadable and user designed programs. The remote control unit has control levers to drive the robot, a speaker and color video display so you can hear the audio picked up by the microphone and display the video transmitted by the camera, and several function buttons that can be used to control additional program functions of user designed programs.

Please vote for this Instructable, "Make a Grabber Bot Out of Legos, Snap Circuits, and the Spy Video Trakr," in the Toy Challenge Contest. Go to http://www.instructables.com/contest/toy2/?show=ENTRIES and click the vote button (you may have to scroll through a few pages to find it).

I created this Instructable specifically to enter it into the Toy Challenge Contest. I have recently become interested in hacking toys as is evidenced by the numerous Instructables I have posted about hacking the Spy Video Trakr:


I have posted these hacks hoping to inspire other Trakr owners to come up with their own new hacks for their Trakrs (and hope they post an Instuctable about their hack so I can try it too).

I am very interested in hacking the Parrot AR Drone. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to purchase the AR Drone, nor an iPad, nor an iPhone--not even an iPod to use as a remote control for the Drone. Obviously I hope to win the the grand prize for the Toy Challenge Contest so I can have an opprotunity to try hacking the AR Drone.

Step 1: Download and Install the C Language Compiler for the Trakr

What's a compiler? Have you seen those geeky T-shirts that say "there are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't?" If you find yourself scratching your head instead of laughing hysterically, then you don't understand binary. Computers, on the other hand, understand only binary. 1s and 0s. On and off.

I have heard of some people who can do binary code, or machine language in their heads, but the rest of us normal people would have a difficult time writing a computer program out of nothing but 1s and 0s. Instead we use a higher level language like C language to write software.

Have you ever been to a foreign country and didn't know the language? You can hire a translator to translate what you say into the language that the locals can understand. That's what a compiler does. Computers can't understand C language so, a compiler translates the software you write in C language into machine code, or the 1s and 0s that computers can understand.

You'll need to download and install the C language compiler so that you can write programs for the Trakr and compile your software into machine language that the Trakr can understand. The C Language compiler is included in a fairly complete software development kit (SDK) that the folks at Wild Planet call the "Primer." So, download the Primer and save it on your computer where it'll be easy to find by clicking the following link:

How do you make the grabber?

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Bio: You can try my projects AT YOUR OWN RISK. There's infinite ways to damage or destroy persons and property. I can't think of ... More »
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