Robot crabs coming to an office near you

Latest in a line of minirobotic toys from Greenville, Texas-based Hexbug, due for release next month, may appeal to more than just kids as its "feelers" help it roam around (and hide).

This August, you may be dodging something other than Frisbees at the beach or your boss at the office.

The Hexbug Crab has built-in light sensors that are programmed to run from light, just like a real crab does. HexBug/Innovation First

Innovation First is releasing the Hexbug Crab, the latest in its line of Hexbug microrobotic toys that sell for about $9.99.

While the minirobot is geared toward kids, it's easy to see the Hexbug Crab gaining a place alongside office stress balls in cubicles across the country.

Like other Hexbugs, the Hexbug Crab can be left to roam around and respond to its environment. Think of it as a little pet that doesn't need to be fed.

"Feelers" on the crabs legs are actually robotic sensors that help it avoid obstacles. It responds to loud clapping or banging sounds by running away. The Hexbug Crab, however, is slightly more advanced than Hexbug's robotic bugs . This one will also have light sensors and be programmed to scurry to the darkest spot it can find, just like a real crab does.

The 75-employee Greenville, Texas-based company also seeks to promote robots in general. It maintains RobotEvents.com, a site that tracks news of educational robotic and technology projects for children and teens.

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About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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