Tamiya's wall-hugging ladybug is a fun and easy-to-build kit that's
great for new robot enthusiasts, and it can serve as a unique,
hackable robot chassis for more advanced users. The ladybug has
digital electronics; rather, a simple wire bumper along its side
directs current to one of two motors to keep the ladybug moving along
the wall. The ladybug features a hard plastic shell and runs on one
alkaline AA battery.
The wall hugging ladybug squiggles along a wall in a zig-zag manner.
When the bump sensor makes contact with the wall, a switch directs
power to the left motor, which moves the ladybug to the right and away
from the wall. When the bump sensor loses contact, the switch flips
and directs power to the right motor, moving the ladybug to the left
and towards the wall again. This simple behavior allows the robot to
follow almost any vertical surface on its left.
This is a very easy kit to put together. The electronics--motors,
power switch, and bumper switch--are pre-assembled (no soldering is
required) and snap into the plastic body with ease. Assembly only
takes a few minutes, making this an excellent kit for beginners. The
only tool required is a diagonal cutter, though Tamiya also recommends
using a modeling knife to remove excess plastic.
Stickers for the black spots and eyes are included, but the black
paint that is needed to paint the head as shown in the product picture
is not. Tamiya recommends their TS-29 semi gloss black paint, though
we got good results just using generic black spray paint for plastics
from Home Depot.
Because this kit has two independent motors for differential drive, it
can also serve as a base for your own project. There is ample space
for adding your own electronics, and you can readily modify the