A Hexbug

Gosh. It is nearly a month since Christmas. One of my presents back then was a hex bug. These are cunningly engineered little ‘bugs’ which seemingly have no moving parts on the outside and yet they move forward. Inside the little beastie there is a small electric motor which drives an out of balance flywheel. This makes the device wobble up and down. It stands on flexible legs which point slightly backwards. When the flywheel pulls hex bug up the weight on the legs reduces and they move to a more upright position. As the flywheel moves down friction stops the legs from sliding backwards and the result is that the whole thing moves forward.

Here’s a photo against a ruler so you can gauge the size.

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It is a bit less than 2 inches long and as you can gsee it has twelve legs.

Of course a picture really doesn’t do justice – so click here for a video. In the video I have made a small barrier to keep Hex bug in place. Like the daleks, it’s not too good with steps. At first we see a nosey cat, interested in a switched off bug, but then I switch it on, upside down. Like all good bugs, this one can right itself. It does nearly turn right over in the film, but soon rights itself again.

What a fascinating device!

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