Update: for adapted Wild Things please have a look at RJ Cooper’s version:
I originally posted about our initial hacks to the Fisher Price Wild Thing here. Since then we’ve built custom versions for several kids and made some upgrades. It feels much more like a polished product now. Also some parents have done a really amazing job further customizing the Wild Things after delivery. Here’s some videos courtesy of Amy McCluer showing her son Braylen riding one. Braylen is controlling the forward and Amy is controlling the turning via the remote control we designed. Later when Braylen is ready he’ll also have switches or a joystick for the turning. Amy will always be able to override with the remote control as a safety.
Amy made the seating modifications for Braylen to be comfortable and secure as well as creating the tray for any accessibility switches to be mounted on. She also wrapped the original plastic wheels with rubber from a bicycle tire for much better traction on a variety of surfaces and grades. Here’s a video showing that in more detail and some pictures:
One upgrade our more recent deliveries include is a 3D printed remote control designed by Robert Haleluk of PrintParts:
Robert Haleluk was able to design and print this remote control enclosure for us even without any modifications to our current circuit board which we had several left of. That wasn’t a simple job since that version of our PCB was never intended nor designed to be mounted inside an enclosure. Here’s what the PCB looks like sitting inside the enclosure.
Our customers think it came out amazing and we agree. But we’re looking forward to the next version which should be even better. As we get ready to do another run of boards we’ll be free to tweak the PCB design and plastic enclosure design together. The result will be phenomenal.
Another upgrade we worked on is a lit power switch on the vehicle with all wires concealed. The lit switch makes it easy to see when the device is still on, an important reminder to turn it off before adjusting seating or getting the child into or out of the vehicle. Also having as many wires as possible concealed is important since many kids will intentionally or unintentionally pull on them. Note that the original toy does not have a power switch. Below are pictures of how that turned out: