First look at a Hexbug Spider

I recently bought a Hexbug Spider after seeing one in an Instructable.  The thing which impressed me was the unique directional control. The spider changes direction without turning by changing the leg sequencing and uses just 2 motors.  It's based on work done by Jamie Mantzel, (although he is not credited by Hexbug) and comes with IR control - rotate left / right, move forward / backwards.  Build quality is really good and it comes apart with a single screw for the 'carapace' and three more to get to the circuit board.  The next set of screws gets to the heart of the mechanics, but I didn't want to risk disconnecting something so haven't gone further.

Inside there's a double sided PCB with a 14 pin MCU on one side and a dual H-bridge driver on the other.  The other device is a combined red LED and IR receiver.  It's a simple enough job to remove the MCU to get to the H-bridge inputs directly, then add sensors and patch on an MCU of your choice.  When time allows I'll be grafting in a rangefinder, light sensor and Picaxe 14m2 to make the spider autonomous. 

All I've done so far is to replace the 3 x button cells (max 4.5V) with a lithium ion battery (3.7V to 4.2V).  This works fine and the robot stomps around with no reduction in speed.  Probably because there's less voltage drop on load with the beefier LiIon cell.








Youtube video embedding problem.

Any thoughts on my embedding problem :

Video is marked as public.  I’m getting “You have specified an invalid media URL or embed code” when I try to add it.  I’m right-clicking the video and copying the embed code (also the URL does it).  Should this be pasted in full into the LMR edit page or does it need some trimming first?

Use the content of the browser’s address field

You need the youtube URL that is in the address field of the browser. Not the code you get from the share feature that is underneath the video.

Copy&paste the address content. Then you should be fine.

Nope, that gives me the same

Nope, that gives me the same error.

(Bah - Should have been a reply to below.)

Show the URL

Paste the URL here (as a comment) for further investigation.

Thanks Nils

This is the URL from the navigation bar :

This is right-click, ‘copy video URL’ on the video (same) :

This is right-click, ‘copy embed code’ :

<iframe width=“640” height=“360” src=“” frameborder=“0” allowfullscreen></iframe>

All of these give the error mentioned. 

(Off to bed now - I’ll pick this up tomorrow.)



You have to tick the "Use

You have to tick the “Use old embed code” box. The the code that appears to be shared starts with something like:

’<object width=“420” height=“315” '… 

then you can use that code here on lmr site in the video add lines.




I believe

should be able to be embeded properly.

It’s easy when you do it properly!

It’s easy when you do it properly!

Video now embedded.

(Raised request for admin to delete these comments.)



really interested in this

really interested in this hack! Im looking to make a mini band of creepy crawlers lol. Does it seem easily hack-able?


I don’t know if we should promote this product?

Isn’t this the same company that ripped off Jamie’s idea without paying him a cent? I’m pretty sure it looks like the one Jamie Mantzel did a video about. Anyway he was right his spider tank has turned out much better.

The idea isn’t that new:

The idea isn’t that new:

Jamie got nothing for Hexbug

Jamie got nothing for Hexbug developing the idea and he’s pretty annoyed about it  I’m not defending Hexbug, but if Jamie’s leg movement mechanism was novel he should have got some legal protection on the idea before posting videos of it.  Many companies take useful unprotected designs if they are in the public domain.  Look at vibrobots - Oooh, it’s Hexbug again!

Giant hex idea?

If you mean it wasn’t that new by building a giant robot, or even a giant hex, I would agree.

However It’s the walking mechanism that Jamie invented that is completely unique.

Most Hex’s (including Odex) tend to use 2 or 3 motor/servos for each leg, Jamie’s use’s 2 in total to control all 6.


Don’t complain about the system if you don’t know it

The problem simply is, that Jamie didn’t know the patent situation. Posting his innovation before applying for any patent or design patent, makes it impossible to get a patent afterwards or a property righ; and everybody can copy it. I am working for a company which deals daily with such situations, holding myself around 10 worldwide patents, just as an innovator; the company earns the money, I am just a name on the paper…

Make it better next time, inform yourself and consider if it is worthy to apply for a patent, because it’s very expensive and most companies will try to circumvent an existing patent anyhow.  But please don’t stop to invent :slight_smile:

I don’t think you understand the situation

If the idea was simply taken from his video on the net or blog then that would be his own mistake. However from the video where he explains how the idea was stolen, he says that these people approached him about producing his spiderbot and he met with them and discussed the toy including pawing over a working example.
They then said no thankyou we are not interested and then went and made it anyway. That to me seems very dishonest and a big difference than just copying an open design from the net.
As they say there is nothing new under the sun and the fact that odex is similar does not excuse them wasting Jamies time and using him to assist their own creation without financial compensation.

You’re right, it’s dishonest

You’re right, it’s dishonest and insolent, but changing nothing on the legal situation. They just wanted further information about the construction, I guess.


Better than Hexbug.

You must be talking about Jamies Attacknids. Yep, they finally got a name, and it looks like it will really be available before christmas this time. I want 2 for me and 2 for the kids! And if you decide to hack this awesome creation, there is a message Jamie hid inside!

(Almost forgot the link to the vid…)

Great to see these.

I’m really glad to see Jamie’s got his designs together and into production and should get the recognition he deserves from this.  They make the Hexbug look pretty pathetic beside them.  (Weaponisation is never a bad thing #;¬)

My Hexbug spider rebuild is on hold at the mo while I do other stuff, half way through building a new Picaxe 14M2 controller unit for it.  I’ll be picking it up again at some point.  (I wonder how hackable the Attacknids electronics are.  It would be great if it was designed with modification in mind.)