Big Trak was a programmable electric toy tank first released by Milton Bradley (later more commonly known as the abbreviated MB) in 1979.
Big Trak was a six-wheeler toy tank that could be programmed to drive forward, backward, turn and fire a 'photon canon' in the sequence you entered. To program the tank you needed to type the commands into the brightly coloured keyboard at the top of the vehicle. Big Trak could remember up to sixteen commands at any one time, but you needed to program in the movements in sequence. Big Trak was quite advanced for its time being one of the first programmable robotic toys and it became extremely popular among children and adults alike.
It served no real purpose other than novelty but many people became addicted to improving their Big Trak programming to the point where they could get Big Trak to circumnavigate their homes.
The keypad on Big Trak took quite a bit of getting used to as all of the actions were abbreviated. When you first got Big Trak out of its box the labels needed fixing first of all. The keys consisted of:
Green Directional Arrows: Forward, Back, Left, Right HOLD: To pause the vehicle CLR: To clear all the programming FIRE: To set off the LED “laser” CLS: Clear Last Step (Undo) RPT: Repeat steps TEST: Run a test program CK: Check last instruction (this was a tick symbol on the British version) OUT: Detach the trailer accessory IN: A spare button 0-7 keypad: To allow you to define a time for each action
Two different Big Traks were available, depending on whether you were based in the US or Europe. The American Big Trak was grey with a large Big Trak label whilst the GB version was white with a slightly different keypad. You could also purchase an optional trailer to make BigTrak deliver objects.