The HEXBUG Ant has made it’s way online and I have secured five of them to give to our readers. Just drop a comment below for a chance to win. I’ll choose five lucky winners at noon central time tomorrow, April 9th.
We’ve been having a lot of fun dropping the Ants in the kitchen and watching the cats go insane. The ants are fast enough to be difficult to catch, and sturdy enough to withstand a swift kick. The axles are also removable to make cleaning out the lint easy.
The Ant’s web page has a new Design tab that shows some of the early prototypes and gives a peek into how these fun toys were developed. Click through to get a sneak peak at one of the earliest prototype ants.
Click through for a look at some of the first prototype ants.
Some of the parts to build prototypes below were printed on a Dimension SST 3D printer. The motors were scavenged from the original HEXBUGs and the axles are small Allen wrenches. Liberal application of super glue was used to strengthen the fragile parts like the wheels.
I don’t think this is the very fist prototype ant, but it is close. While it didn’t work extremely well, it gave a good approximation of how the final version behaves. Friction turned out to be a problem with the primitive "touch" sensor. Two of the wheels were repurposed to use on the next prototype.
Rev 2 dropped the touch sensor and just ran forward. This was the first attempt at dressing him up. The springy antenna were borrowed from an original hexbug. The antenna gave it a little bounce when hitting obstacles and it would spin around and run off in a new direction.
The last printed version has a lot in common with the final production model. The motor placement, high speed gear train, and basic shape of the body and wheels are close.
Now it is up to the engineers and product designer to collaborate and make a final version that not only looks good, but can be produced at a reasonable cost. There are some pictures from that process on the Ant’s Design tab on the HEXBUG.com.
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a new HEXBUG Ant.