If you are a bug lover, this tiny gadget is just for you! The Hex Bug is a tiny robot that reacts to sound and touch. These cute little pests use sensors that act like ears and whiskers. Go to the next image to see how they work.
The brain of the bug -- or the printed circuit board -- carries instructions to vital parts of the robot.
The battery compartment is located under the belly of the bug and is closed with a single screw.
The printed circuit board carries electricity from the batteries seen here.
When the bug is ready to be “revved” up, the electricity from the batteries flow to this electric motor.
This tiny microphone serves as the bug’s ear. It translates the pressure from sound waves into electrical impulses.
The Hex Bug’s antennae are similar to the cat’s whiskers. See how on the next image.
Whiskers are essential to help cats decide whether they can fit through narrow spaces. Springs allow the Hex Bug to do the same thing. If the antennae touch the edges, the bug knows the space is too narrow. When the antennae touch an object, the spring bends and touches the electrode. Go to the next image to see why this is important.
At the base of each antennae, a small spring winds around a plastic insulator (black). This insulator keeps the spring away from a metal electrode inside. When the spring touches the electrode this completes a circuit. This circuit tells the motor to change direction and the bug backs up.
A series of gears are responsible for the Hex Bug's movement. The motor turns a very small gear that connects to other gears. These gears carry the motor’s movement to the bug’s middle legs.
The middle legs connect to the front and back legs with small plastic bars. The middle legs push and pull the bars, which causes the front and back legs to move.
The Hex Bug's power switch slides back and forth to the "on" and "off" positions.
As the power switch slides between the “on” and “off” positions, it is carrying a small piece of metal. The metal is in place to touch two electrodes. This contact completes the circuit between the batteries and the rest of the bug.
When the Hex Bugs back up, a simple clutch keeps the left legs from moving. Both middle legs attach to shafts.
The right shaft fits through a spiral, and the left connects to the housing seen here. When the motor turns, the spiral-pointed end fits into a notch in the housing. The housing turns, making the left legs move. When the motor reverses, the point slips past the notch, so the left legs stay still. To learn more, check out our Gadgets Channel.