WowWee Rovio Mod: Rear-Mounted LED Flood Light

Here is a simple mod for your Rovio, requiring no "hacking," that will help you get more light in dark rooms and hallways.  Basically, I found a bright battery powered LED flood light (motion activated) and mounted it to the rear end of Rovio with clear Super Velcro from Radio Shack.

The light needed some modification for Rovio to park properly, but overall it is quite simple. The light turns on either when the head or the whole robot moves.  It turns off automatically after 30 seconds of no motion, or if there is light in the room.  It's supposed to go for 100 hours on 4x AA batteries, but I haven't fully tested this yet.

Parts Required:

Tools Required:

  • Phllips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Cutting Tool - Dremel (recommended) or small saw
  • Drill with small drillbits

Step One:  Modify the Floodlight For Use With Rovio

Open up the the angled portion of the light by unscrewing the 6 screws on its back.  Then, unscrew the motion sensor, and use a hack saw to cut off the excess plastic, and a grinder to clean up the cut. A Dremel tool would have worked great as well.

Leave about 1 inch of plastic where the sensor wire protrudes from the case of the light; you will mount the sensor here.  Drill out the holes on the sensor mounts so the zip tie will fit through, and drill a hole on the side of the 1" uncut plastic to tether the zip tie and sensor. Then, attach the sensor with the zip tie.

Step Two:  Attach Velcro to your Rovio

I used 6 strips of electrical tape sandwiched on top of each other, then cut them in half to even out the convex side of Rovio's rear end.  This way, the light could mount on an even surface. Double stick tape cut into two narrow strips would work even better.  Cut one Velcro strip into two pieces, similar to the photo below.  Place the Velcro down on top of the tape and seal it.  

Keep it a couple millimeters away from Rovio's head joint. Make sure the head has clearance to operate without interference.

Step Three: Mount Velcro On Flood Light, Then Attach to Rovio

Mount Velcro to the new bottom side of the light so it will match up with the Velcro you put on the Rovio.  The light is now ready to be placed on Rovio. Take a careful look at Rovio with the head extended to make sure the light does not interfere.

When placing the light, I recommend leaving some of the Velcro from the robot exposed.  When removing the light from Rovio, hold down on the exposed Velcro to make sure it does not become un-stuck. 

Enjoy! Your Rovio can now see in the dark. 

Helpful Hints


The light sensor is very sensitive, placing a few pieces of electrical tape inside or outside the white ball will help it turn on.  If it's getting too much light from Rovio's top mounted LED's or ambient room lighting, you may tweak this to get the light to turn on in poor lighting conditions that would normally turn off the light. 

The light weighs over a pound.  Rovio may have trouble docking/undocking if his wheels and dock are dusty.  This has happened once in about 30 docks for me. The back of the light has nearly 4 ounces of magnets on it.  You may remove them with a screwdriver, or replace the back cover with something lighter.  I used the back cover to an RC helicopter remote control in the example below.  It's a little short, but worked with the screws that came with the light.

You may use other LED motion sensor lights but beware - Rovio needs a good amount of light - 3 or 6 LED's may not provide enough light for your needs.  

This mod produces a great deal of light. Enjoy!

Rovio with his new flood light attached.

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Head-Mounted Rovio LED Hack