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TypeToy automatons
CompanyInnovation First
CountryUnited States
Materialsplastic, rubber
Official website

Hexbug is a brand of toy automatons developed and distributed by Innovation First. Hexbug was inspired by BEAM robotics, and uses many elements of it. Originally released in the US through RadioShack, it is now sold in most major retail stores. The original was based on 6-legged arthropods, but now comes in several different varieties. The name "Hexbug", however, has more to do with the shape of the packaging it is sold in than the number of legs it has.


Hexbug Spider, as available in December 2010.

Original Hexbug[edit]

This Hexbug is an autonomous toy bug that reacts to loud sounds and pressure on the antennae and scurries around the room. It was the first Hexbug made and is classified by the NATO Phonetic Alphabet rather than color; Alpha (orange), Bravo (green), Charlie (blue), Delta (yellow), and Echo (red). There are 5 different original hexbugs, all of which are different shapes. The Hexbug was released in 2007 at RadioShack.[1][2]


The Spider is a remote-controlled hexapod robot. The movement is remote controlled, capable of changing direction by its head rotation. The head determines the direction by pressing the leg joints into moving forward as the head pointed. It is powered by three replaceable LR44 (AG13) Button cell batteries.[3]

Battle Spider[edit]

The Battle Spider is a variant of the Spider. Equipped with LED light and sensor, it can engage in laser-tag battle. Unlike the standard Spider and the Battle Spider 2.0, the first edition of the Battle Spider can only move forward. It is powered by three replaceable LR44 (AG13) batteries.[4]

Battle Spider 2.0[edit]

The Battle Spider 2.0 is a revised edition of the Battle Spider, it is capable of walking backward like the standard Spider. It is powered by three replaceable LR44 (AG13) batteries.[4]


The Scarab is a fast moving mechanical robot made to resemble a beetle with six legs. The movement is autonomous and random, reacting to obstacles with a rapid change in direction. The Scarab will automatically get back onto its feet if it is upside-down. Internal gears and motors are visible through its translucent shell. It is powered by three replaceable LR44 (AG13) batteries.[5]


The Tarantula is an eight-legged remote-controlled robot resembling the Strandbeast. It is capable of all direction movements as well as rotation.[6]

Nano Nitro[edit]

Hexbug Nano

A development of the Nano v2 (2013), released in 2017.[7] These bugs, like their v2 and original counterparts, are also bristlebots.[7] A major improvement is that they have five spines on their back compared to the three spines on the v2. Other improvements include less oscillation. With less oscillation, they can move faster. Their spines gives them the ability to climb vertically between two suitably spaced plates or tube walls.[8] As their backs now have five spines, they are very stable on their backs compared to the v2 and self-righting on their backs is now very stable.

A variety of clear plastic tube habitats are offered with them. These range from a simple vertical tube to demonstrate climbing, through to multi 'bot habitats with multiple horizontal arenas linked by curved climbing tubes in clear plastic. A variety of additional construction set tube parts are available, including twisted tubes and funnels also black holes.[7]


A line of miniature robotic fish, released in 2013. The built in sensors contained in the robots detect liquid, which activates the caudal fin.[9] Available as a fish, jellyfish, and seahorse.

VEX Robotics[edit]

A line of robot construction set for building robots, the VEX Robotics kit allows the player to build their own contraptions as well as up-scaled versions of the Hexbug products.[10] It is named after the VEX Robotics learning platform developed by Innovation First, which was prominently utilized for STEM education.[11]

Robotic Soccer[edit]

These car-like robots play soccer.

Discontinued Versions[edit]


The crab was the second bot manufactured for HEXBUG. It could only move from side to side and reacted to obstacles and sound. It was removed in September 2014, most likely due to a common defect with its back legs.[citation needed]


Larva was a worm-like robot that had an infrared eye and avoided objects in its path. However, its battery usage was very strong. It was removed in February 2015.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Press Release" (PDF). Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  2. ^ "WayBackMachine of HEXBUG.com July 1, 2007". Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Spider design reference from HEXBUG.com". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Battle Spider from HEXBUG.com". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Scarab design reference from HEXBUG.com". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Tarantula design reference from HEXBUG.com". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Nano V2". HEXBUG Nano V2.
  8. ^ "Hexbug nano V2: Now they climb as well - Pocket-lint". www.pocket-lint.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  9. ^ Heater, Brian. "Aquatic Robots Are Taking Jobs from Hardworking Goldfish". Yahoo! Tech. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  10. ^ "VEX Robotics from HEXBUG.com". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  11. ^ "VEX Robotics official site". Retrieved 20 September 2016.

External links[edit]