So I have bought a hexbug spider with the idea that I can reverse engineer it and have a simple, but creepy, hexapod walking robot driving by just two motors. Then we can use the animatronic eye, or a new version of, that I worked on with Richard Sewell, to make a really creepy facetracking eye on big spider legs!
The hexbug spider is a very simple and yet complicated mechanism that I have been staring at intently to work out how it works. Here is a quick video of it running around my table;
To work out whats going on i started to take it apart,
What I have found is that there are two motors, one determines direction and the other drives. The driving motor pushes a drive rod up and down in an elliptical motion. There are two independent tripods of legs that are 180 degrees out of phase with each other. The two tripods share connection with at the end of the drive shaft. This point has on the drive shaft is also connected to a two direction guide that moves up and down and left and right 45 degrees out of phase with the direction of the spiders forward movement. The produces the loci that moves the legs effectively. Anyway, once you see it working its easier to know whats going on. So far I have cadded up a quick attempt of what I understand in solid edge, although its still missing the drive rod guide at the base.
Hopefully I will have a full working simulation soon, and then on to making it bigger and real!