DISCLOSURE: I was provided with complimentary products to facilitate this post, however ll opinions are my own.
Have you seen the new Hexbugs Nano V2? Neither had I, until Micah came running into the kitchen one day, exclaiming he "neeeeeds those Hexbugs that can climb the wall". So I did what any good Mom would do, I Googled it to see what in the world he was talking about. Seems I am a bit behind the curve when it comes to kid's toys. Hexbugs are a micro robotic creature that reacts to its environment, they are an innovative battery powered, high-tech toy and are fun for all ages and the Nano V2 is the newest incarnation of the Hexbugs family. (and yes, they CAN climb)
Using common locomotion principles we set out to make a really small HEXBUG that gave the appearance of being smart. How will it react when it encounters an obstacle? What happens if it gets turned over? The first prototypes of the Nano were inspired by the old vibrating football games. More recent examples of vibrating motion are the BEAM Vibrobots, and then the Bristlebots. Thirty some iterations, a few years, and dozens of designs later the Nano was born. To give just a taste of how much development went into this product, we engineered and rapid prototyped over 150 variations of legs alone.
How Does the Nano V2 Work?
The motor inside the Nano rotates a counterweight that causes forces up and down. The down force causes the legs to bend and the Nano moves forward. The up force causes the creature to hop lifting the front legs off the ground and allowing the legs to unbend. This up and down movement repeats several hundred times per second causing the Nano to move forward. The Nano creature's ability to flip over by itself is due to the rotating forces caused by the motor and the unique internal and external chassis design (and a little magic). With all that power, there's no stopping these tiny little bugs. Hexbugs Nano V2 can be played with alone, but why would you when there are sooo many playsets to choose from, including the Hurricane Habitat playset pictured below.
This playset comes with one Nano bug so you can be ready to play as soon as you open the package and you canpurchase additional Hexbugs for around $8 and each new bug comes in a package that can also be used as a piece of track, to expand the playset.
The Hurricane Habitat playset features... 44 pieces of track that can customized to your specific wishes. The set includes, 1 long tube, 2 short tubes, 7 curved tubes, 2 arch tubes, 2 tube connectors, 4 track pieces, 6 track connectors, 13 tube connectors, 6 pillar pieces, 2 platforms, vortex, vortex base, platform obstacle pieces and it comes with one Nano V2 Hexbug (batteries included). This is a fun play set that encourages imaginative play as well as creativity and building skills as well as interest in basic robotics and I think this would make an awesome gift for any kid on your list.
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