great robots & toys
from the space age

HexBug Nano Habitat
and Hexbug Junkbots

So what's a HexBug Nano?  It's a robotic bug that skitters through a custom course in a very buglike fashion. How's it do that? Not like you may think. Not, for instance, by sensing its environment by advanced electronics. Not, in fact, by sensing its environment at all. Flick the tiny switch, and it simply vibrates, but this results in very buglike behavior. Nanos can flip over and flip back up, "Fight" and gain dominance in the ring, race along a custom-created course.

The course, in this case, the Habitat, is also a brilliant creation. It consists of plastic, walled hexagonal arenas with doors in each face that can be opened or closed. The hexagons connect to each other or to straight and curved track pieces called "bridges" in a myriad of ways. Although pieces easily snap together, they are quite strong and a completed course can be picked up and carried.

The Habitat set includes two Nanos in their specimen tubes (Newton series). The included specimens are billed on the box as "rare mutations". Each has a unique code that can be entered on the website to register and  track your collection, which  Innovation First  Labs hopes is expanding. Nanos available separately come in various color combinations, some of which glow in the dark. They run on a 1.5 volt  watch battery which comes already installed, and are available separately as HexBug Power Cels. The box recommendation is for ages 3 and up.

Other Hexbug course sets include a racing track, a bridge battle set, and a gigantic, multi-level custom course set. To create a bridge battle with the Habitat set, simply open two or more doors in a hexagon. A track can be made by making two identical paths, and starting both Nanos at the same time.

Above left: A hex arena, enhanced with orange and blue GeoMag panels.
Center: Nanos can topple one another and sometimes right themselves.
Right: Doors in the hex panels can be closed as walls, or opened as pathways.
Below left: Nanos  skitter like real bugs when they hit the walls.
Center: The Habitat set includes three hexagons, four curved bridges and three straight bridges. The curved bridge pack, sold separately, includes eight curved pieces, seen here on the right.
Right: A giant course made with the Habitat set and eight extra curved pieces.

Hexbug Junkbots
Hexbug Junkbots

Junkbots dumpster front view

Above: Instructions on the 4 bots Junkbots dumpster read 1: Unlock; 2. Search; 3. Build. The picture shows the chain hanging off the dumpster, which comes apart in two pieces. But it doesn't. It looks like it would, but the indentation is for the chain in the middle of the dumpster, and the dumpster is one piece. The picture shows two single bot dumpsters, but this dumpster actually builds four bots. Pulling up on the loose end of the chain will pop the lock off, so the chain can be unwrapped.
Be sure to save the chain, because it stretches, and can be wrapped around and locked again to store all the parts in the dumpster.
The dumpster label also shows the contents: 4 bots + 1 energy module + 1 motion module. These modules are shown on the side of the dumpster label to aid in locating them.
The label also shows that the kit is rated ages 3+ and contains 50+ parts.

Below: The back of the dumpster indicates that you can build four of the 36 Junkbots. "Mystery Pack" also known as "blind box" means that you don't know which four bots are inside.

4 bots dumpster rear view

Junkbots dumpster contents
battery replacement instructions

Above left: Contents of the dumpster. It's a good idea to open the dumpster on a piece of cardboard, so you can move the pieces and don't lose any. This dumpster also had eight small black trash bags 'tied' with tape with very small pieces in them (not shown). One idea is to keep these tiny parts in a small sandwich bag, which can be kept in the dumpster.

Above right: Folded up in the dumpster is an instruction sheet which shows the modules and how the pieces fit together. It also shows how to replace the batteries in the modules. For this you need a very tiny phillips (cross head) screwdriver. But the modules come with batteries already installed, and ready to go. An easy way to save the instructions is to keep them in the dumpster.

Below: Somewhere in the dumpster are also four little folded up posters showing your four bots. This kit can build Turbo, Cosmo, Artie, and Giggles. The posters also give possible ways to customize them.

Junkbots 4 bots dumpster
Junkbots 4 bots dumpster

4 bot Junkbots dumpster
poster in 4 bots dumpster

Artie, Turbo, Coms, and Giggles Junkbots

Above: A Junkbots ad for the factory collection.

Below: "Junkbots Origins",  a video which can be watched at

Hexbug Junkbots video

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