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Kabuto Mushi Robot

Build your Own Rhinoceros Beetle Robot

Kabuto Mushi Electronics Projects

By Bradley Eckert

Description: Rhinoceros Beetle Robot
Assembly Time: 2-4 hours
Skill level: Beginner-Intermediate

The Rhinoceros Beetle, know in Japan as Kabuto-Mushi, has a wireless remote control that allows you to move forward and back, turn the robot, open and close the claw, and lift the claw up and down. When I saw it I couldn't help but want to build it!

Depending on how fast you move and follow the instructions, this kit could take between two and four hours to build. I had a lot of fun building this robot. Trust me, in the end they are hours well spent.

Just a heads up, fitting all the parts together can be tricky. Go slowly and follow the directions carefully.

Kabuto Mushi Robot OWI-8800Kabuto-Mushi Robot OWI-8800

What you will need:

Kabuto-Mushi Robot: Rhinoceros Beetle OWIKIT
Diagonal Cutter
Long Nose Pliers
Small Philips Head Screwdriver
3 AAA Batteries
4 AA Batteries
Pen Knife

Step 1 - Checking the parts and tools

When starting a project always make sure that your kit has all the packaged parts. Also make sure that you have all the tools necessary to build the kit.

Parts for the Kabuto-Mushi RobotParts for the Kabuto-Mushi Robot
Tools Necessary for BuildTools Necessary for Build

Step 2 - Assembling the gearbox

There are two identical gearbox/motor assemblies, complete the same process for both.

A. Locate the two small plastic bags labeled "C", and the bags labeled "B", "D", and "A". Remove a motor from bag B and the Motor mounting plate (A-25) from bag A in the position marked 25.

B. Push motor through the Motor Mounting Plate until it is snug.

Motor with motor mounting plate
Motor with motor mounting plate

C. In bag C, locate the speed-shift lever and the flat spur gear w/ boss and attach as shown. Locate the wheel shafts w/ E-rings in both bag Dss and put them in the speed-shift lever and flat spur gear with boss part just made and place one with the e-ring on top and the other with it on bottom, for left and right axles.

D. Remove piece A-23 from the A set, 2 long pins (bag D), a crown gear with pinion (bag C, white colored), and a flat spur gear A with pinion (bag C, black colored) and insert pins as shown.

Speed shift levers with wheel shaftsSpeed shift levers with wheel shafts
A-23 with black gearA-23 with black gear

E. Grease up black gear with the white tube of grease included and lower onto the pin as shown, then do the same on the other pin for the white gear.

F. Remove the bushing from bag D and apply as shown.

G. Remove two more long pins from bag D and apply as shown above. Take out six flat spur gears B with pinion from bag C and grease each one then attach as shown. Apply the first gear on the pin closest to the black gear then alternate for the rest.

A-23 with bushing appliedA-23 with bushing applied
A-23 completed with speed shift leverA-23 completed with speed shift lever

H. Remove A-26, the change speed lever plate from the A set. Insert the previously assembled speed shift levers with wheel shafts, the change speed lever, and push the bottom through the bottom bushing, for both the left and right wheel, the gear will be on the bottom and the change speed lever will be above as shown, note that the e-ring will be on top for right wheel and under for left.

I. Remove A-24 from the A-set and apply another bushing. Attach change speed lever plate as shown.

A-23, A-24, and A-26 A-23, A-24, and A-26
A-24 attached to the topA-24 Attached to the top

J. Attach the top of the gearbox, A-24. Make sure all pins line up and press down firmly to secure. Get out two M3X25 screws from bag D and two M3 nuts from bag D and push the screws through the top as shown. Secure with nuts at bottom. Set the speed change lever in each of the three positions and test if the gears spin smoothly, if they do, remove the two screws and nut.

K. Repeat steps for the left motor, paying careful attention to the direction of the axle. Line up both motors as shown and insert into position by opening the gear box then closing it on the motor. After in place as shown, reattach the screws and nuts.

Step 3 - Assembling the rear wheels

A. Remove wheel metal insert with attached M3 metal screw from bag I (inside bag L), remove the screw from insert. Remove wheel, D-37 and cut off the rod sticking out at the top of the wheel. Place metal wheel insert in the wheel as shown, making sure the screw hole lines up with the plastic opening.

Right: motor attached in placeRight: motor attached in place
D-37 with rod and metal insertD-37 with rod and metal insert

B. Snap the rear wheel cover, D-38, and the rear wheel together. Repeat steps for other wheel.

Step 4 - Installing the rear wheels

Line up rear wheel with motor boxes and attach wheels by pushing them on the axles then screwing in the M3.

Rear wheels attached to gearboxesRear wheels attached to gearboxes
Front wheel parts lined upFront wheel parts lined up

Step 5 - Assembling the front wheels

A. Remove D-31 and D-30 from the D set. Trim the rod from D-30, then press them firmly together until they snap.
B. Remove one of the smaller screws from bag I and remove the nut from it, drop the nut into position. Also remove a shaft with e-ring from bag I, two brushings, and D-32 (comes separately from the D-set but in the same bag). Now put the axle, after greasing it, through using the brushings and D-32 then tighten the screw. Repeat steps for opposite wheel.

D-32 front wheel assembledD-32 front wheel assembled
Front wheels attachedFront wheels attached

Repeat steps for the other small wheels from set D, except replace the D-32 with D-36. Note: make sure the longer side of the D-36 is facing away from the wheel. You should now have four wheels.

Step 6 - Attaching the wheels and gearboxes

A. Remove the lower half of the main cabinet from bag Q and line up the wheels and attach.
B. Line up the motors and gearboxes.
C. Remove eight of the smaller screws from bag T (located inside of bag Q). Underneath the lower half of the main cabinet you will see holes marked "G" for the screws as shown, insert screws.

Step 7 - Attach the caterpillars



In bag U, remove the two caterpillar belts and attach as shown.

Robot with the caterpillar belts attached
Robot with the caterpillar belts attached

Step 8 - Assemble the catch hand

A. In bag E, remove the body set bottom (B-11), the two hands, and in bag U, remove the two small arm clamp rubber pieces. Attach the two arms with the gear facing down as shown. Attach the rubber pieces as shown. They are side specific so if they do not sit flush, switch which side they are on.

Parts laid out for catch handParts laid out for catch hand

B. Remove four pins from bag H and insert as shown. (inside bag G inside bag F)

C. In bag K, there are two damping gears, put the smallest one on then the bigger one on the pin shown after greasing.

Next two gears attachedNext two gears attached
Spring attachedSpring attached

D. In bag K, remove a flat spur gear and grease, then attach as shown on pin 2 away from first gears. (farther away one in picture)

E. In bag J remove the smaller flat spur gear, grease, and attach to the middle pin as shown above.

F. In bag K, remove three more flat spur gears, grease, and first place one on the far pin with nothing on it, then the closest pin to that, then back to the other one as shown.

G. Remove a spring from bag H and place on top of the first two gears you put on, the damping gears as shown.

H. Remove the motor with the corkscrew head from bag G, grease the head, and place in as shown.

I. Attach the motor cover, B-12 to the top and attach it with the thicker tapping screws from bag H as shown.

Motor cover attachedMotor cover attached
Damping gears in placeDamping gears in place (larger one should be on bottom)

J. Place the cover (B-10) over the bottom and secure using two M3X25 screws (bag H) with nuts and one M3X8 (Bag H) screw (the two medium length ones and a short one) with nut for the back as shown.

Step 9 - Assemble the catch hand backing

In bag F, remove body set C (C-18) and remove 3 long pins from bag H and place as shown.

Then place the spring from bag H on the pin closest to the missing wall, bottom pin in the picture above.

Get the two damping gears from bag J, and grease, and place on the spring with the bigger one on the bottom (differs from picture).

Next get six flat spur gears from bag J, grease, then place them alternating on the two pins that have nothing on them starting with the one in the top right in the picture above.

Gears being attached in orderGears being attached in order
Motor box installed into C-16Motor box installed into C-16

Attach the cover (C-17) using tapping screw M2X8 from bag H as shown.

Insert motor into slot. Get body set C (C-16) and install the motor box as shown.

Install the catch hand as shown.

Motor box installed into C-16C-15 in place securing catch hand
Feed wires through notchFeed wires through notch

Install the top of the body (C-15) using M3 nut and M3X10 screws from bag I or bag H. Note: make sure all 4 wires are fed through the hole in the back.

Step 10 - Install the catch hand and backing

Put the backing in place as shown and then use three M3X35 screws with M3 nuts in the holes shown to secure it.

Step 11 - Install the PCB

Open the battery compartment through the bottom and feed the wires out the hole on the top.

Get the PCB from bag V and install where shown.

PCB in placePCB in place
Diagram of where all wires goDiagram of where all wires go (larger photo)

Secure it using 4 of the smaller screws from bag T.

Plug in all the cords using this diagram.

Step 12 - Install Component Covers

A. Remove the select switch plastic cover from bag S (it is the tiny piece).

Select button coverSelect button cover
Plastic cover inside top cabinetPlastic cover inside top cabinet

B. Remove the cover from bag R (inside bag Q) and position as shown in the top cabinet from bag Q. Screw it in using the small screws from bag T.

C. Get the caterpillar cover pieces out of bag S and place as shown on the main cabinet top.

D. Place in position and use the remaining screws from bag T to secure it using the holes marked T on the underside.

Step 13 - Assembling the controller

A. Get the controller out of bag M, we are using the top half first. In bag N, remove all the pieces and install as shown.

Controller PCB installedController PCB installed

B. Remove PCB from bag W and snap into two pieces on perforated line. Put in place as shown then secure the smaller piece with 3 M2.6X4 screws from bag P and the bigger piece with 4 M2.6X6 screws from bag P.

C. Get the front cover from bag O and connect the lead wires of the battery pack to the terminals on the flat behind the LEDs as shown.

Battery hooked up
Battery hooked up
Plastic front cover in place
Plastic front cover in place

D. Insert plastic front cover for the controller as shown.

E. Attach the back of the controller using M2.6X8 screws from bag P.

You should now have a fully assembled Kabuto-Mushi Bot - congratulations!

Check out this video below of the Kabuto-Mushi in action.


Brad Eckert grew up in the Bay Area and now attends MIT. He wants to become an engineer and loves to make things and play with robotics.

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