The B.I.O. Bug Zone...
Dedicated to experimenting with, and hacking on, some nifty BEAM-based toys

The Hasbro / Wowwee B.I.O. Bugs are a series of battery-powered autonomous / remote-controlled robot bugs based heavily on the designs of Mark Tilden. They are substantial beasts, measuring 25cm x 29cm (9.8" x 11.4") excluding sensors and weighing 0.492kg (1.08lbs) in the case of the Predator bug.

The basic capabilities of these 2 motor walkers is considerable: they can traverse surfaces as deep as shag carpeting (on full batteries) with little problem,. They can perform a fairly sharp turn, within 1.5x their body length, which is a fairly impressive feat using only 2 motors! They broadcast and receive IR data via the forehead / butt ports, and can recognize friend, foe, and IR controller input. An additional transmitter is located on the rear of the robot, leaving a blind spot only when the remote is aimed at the mid-riff from an angle of about 110 degrees from the angle of travel.

Here's what's available in this little corner of BEAM nirvana...

Dave Hrynkiw's vivisection of a red (Predator) B.I.O. Bug, great data for anybody contemplating opening one of these critters up.

Video -- see prototypes of the Bugs in action


Gearmotor dissection , with instructions on how to disable the gearmotor's clutch

Volume control -- a quick hack to tone down the volume on your bug

Adding a waist motor -- a not-so-easy hack to add another motor to the bug

Links to folks' hack pages:

Jérôme Demers -- volume control, additional contact sensors, and a spiffy new paint job

Jeff Steele -- brain transplanted with BEP's, and solar-powered!

Michael Thompson -- not exactly a BIOBug, but still a toy/robot hack.

Marty Vulk -- addition of a (removable) light-seeking head; interesting sort of "Borg"-bug look

Wrighter the Pessimist -- "Helllp meeee!". Yup, that's all I'll say about it. And yes, that's all I have on file for a name for him.

Julian Plante's "BioHack"page  -- A collection of smaller hacks to improve the whole device.

Nate Eckerson's sub-page -- Breadboarding & multiple motor hacks

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