Playing with toys pays off! We have designed a low-cost research robot based on the Hexbug Spider toy in order to combine the interesting locomotion of the toy with some embedded intelligence. Our modification replaces the robot head with a 3D-printed adapter, consisting of two parts to provide space for sensors, a larger battery, and a printed circuit board (PCB) with an Arduino microcontroller, Wi-Fi module, and motor controller.
The sensors employed in Spiderino are CNY70s, which can measure distances and detect obstacles based on the amount of reflected light from an obstacle. This method is prone to ambient light, but this behavior can be also used to make the robots searching a light source.
“Spiderino can be used for robot swarm experiments as well as for educational purposes, for example to learn programming hardware at schools.” says Midhat Jdeed, who works on the design of the robot and its possible applications.
If you want to learn more about the Spiderino swarm robot, check out the paper:
M. Jdeed, S. Zhevzhyk, F. Steinkellner, and W. Elmenreich. Spiderino – a low-cost robot for swarm research and educational purposes In Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Intelligent Solutions in Embedded Systems (WISES’17), Hamburg, Germany, June 2017.