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December 13, 2010

HEXBUG Swarms on to the Tech Toy Stage

Robots are one of my favorite things to write about – sometimes they bring me a beer and sometimes they scoop my litterbox – but they are always doing something enjoyable.

Robots have always enjoyed a trend towards children’s toys – remember the autonomous robotic bear, Teddy Ruxpin? But that evolution continues even today.

I was enjoying a busy day of holiday shopping at the local mall when I walked by an intriguing display full of robotic bugs. Since I am something of a techie and also the office expert on Robobees, I decided to do a closer inspection.

The robotic bugs, called HEXBUGS, are marketed as “Micro Robotic Creatures,” and are sold by Innovation First International. And I am not the only one who finds HEXBUGS kind of cool – the product earned slot number seven on Dr Toy’s Ten Best Children’s Products of 2010 list.

The battery-powered HEXBUGS come in a variety of different options, including an inchworm, crab, ant, nano and original models. They are equipped with sensors that allow them to react to light, sound and of course… one and other.

Different models come with different features. For example, the inchworm and the spider can be controlled by remote while the crab is autonomous and is programmed to seek out dark, shadowy places. The ant races forward until it encounters an obstacle and then it will backpedal furiously. The nano flips itself over and behaves the most like a real bug.

For parents interested in buying some of these HEXBUGs for their kids, you will be happy to know that the toys are compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The price points are pretty reasonable – ranging from $7.00 to around $20.00 per HEXBUG. Collector bundles and habitats can cost even more and this is definitely a purchase that can be adopted into a hobby.

To see the HEXBUGs in action, please watch below:


Erin Monda recently graduated from W.C.S.U. with a degree in professional writing. She primarily writes about network technologies, including cloud computing, virtualization and network optimization, however she also has a focus on E911 technologies and legislation.

Edited by Erin Monda
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