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Hexbug Microrobotic Creatures
Toy Fair 2008 was one of the biggest in history with more than 100,000 toys and games on display. We weren't there, but we spent a month picking the brains of attendees and participants. Hands-down, one of the hottest items to emerge was the Hexbug.
Officially called Hexbug Microrobotic Creatures, these little bugs are part of a collection of updated robotic insects. With a microprocessor, two "feeler" sensors, and a microphone that works as a sound sensor, these amusing little robots include several features that you might only expect in a full-fledged robot.
Antennas Work as Sensors
Their fine wire antennas are actually sensors that indicate when they are about to run head-on into an object. When they feel a little resistance, they back away for a few steps and then use their six legs to change direction. Unfortunately, however, they don't have edge detection, so they will skitter right off of a table.
Their six articulated legs attach to the body with an intricate triple-action pin and connecting lever. The Hexbugs don't move well on carpet, but their feet have tiny rubber pads that grip and pull them as they pivot their way around obstacles on smooth, flat surfaces. Each bug will travel in a straight line until it hits an object or hears a loud noise. Upon contact or noise, the bug's three-way steering feature is activated and it reverses in a half circle left, then moves forward again in a new direction. You can make noise continuously to back up the bug until it is aligned in the direction you wish.
The colored legs and top/shell of these tiny robotic bugs are made of transparent plastic, allowing you to see the circuitry through the shell. The bugs come with two button cell batteries already installed. Hexbugs come with absolutely no information, nothing even to tell you how to turn them on. Thankfully the "ON" switch was pretty easy to find -- it looks like a tiny tail that you need to rock to the side to turn on.
Just Over an Inch Tall
Hexbugs are tiny, intelligent, and obedient microrobots which resemble actual bugs. There are five bugs of different colors and shapes available. Each Hexbug is approximately 2 and 1/4 inches wide, 2 and 1/4 inches long, and just over 1 inch tall.
Frankly, these tiny, battery-powered insects have little practical or educational purpose. But for entertainment they are a blast, especially if you have cats in your home. And if you are looking for something unusual for that special geek in your life, Hexbug's ingenious design will wow him or her.
Collect all 5!
INNOVATION FIRST, INC
Approx 2.25 inches long, 2.25 inches wide, 1.25 inches tall
Custom manufactured in China
- Small parts. Not for children under 3yrs.
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