Hexbug Ant Review

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Not all tiny toys are super heroes and action fighters, there’s a whole bunch of other oddities that fit in the palm of your hand. Continuing my theme of reviewing random, tiny robots, my dad picked up a Hexbug Ant and thought it looked neat. Might as well review it while I’m at it!

The high-speed Robotic Creature that reacts to touch!

The premise of Hexbugs is pretty basic. They’re small robotic toys that respond to a range of stimuli. Some of them are sensitive to light, others to sound and all of them to touch. I got the ant model. At the core, Hexbugs are just really intricate windup toys.

Ant here is battery powered with six “wheels” that are different sizes allowing the little robot to run in various directions that aren’t straight ahead at alarmingly high speeds. Outfitted with a plastic chassis that’s translucent green plastic, his circuit board is easy to see and reminds me a lot of back when I used to take apart computers for fun.

The ant has two antennae in the front and a warped wire on the back which activates touch sensors. If they get hit, ant reverses direction. And this guy is fast. But that’s all he does – speeds around on the floor really, really quickly while rapidly changing direction. Unless it gets caught on something.

And the ant gets caught on stuff all the time. No matter how clean you think your floor is, hairs get stuck in the rotors and bring the ant to a grinding halt. They’re also a pain to remove because of how tightly wound they become.

The other issue with the Hexbug is how fragile they are. After the ant stopped, I picked it up and it suddenly started spinning again. So it blasted out of my hands and onto the carpeted floor, where the cover broke off. It didn’t pop off, but the actual pegs broke! So now I have a mechanical bug with its gizmos exposed!

That’s the biggest problem with this little robot, the lack of durability. If I manage to break it as someone in my mid-twenties, I would imagine a younger kid would shatter it. Especially when you consider the price point of $12 a piece. That seems really high for a fancy windup toy, even if it is shaped like a robotic insect.

Written by jestergoblin

October 19th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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