Robot gadgets for your cat: the Hexbug Nano

Hexbug Cat ToyFor those of us who cannot afford the incredible Sphero bot to entertain ourselves our cats with, there IS an alternative: the HEXBUG Nano.

When switched on, this little robotic bug will move in arcs of various sizes by vibrating its little rubber feet. If it comes up against an obstacle, the bug will stubbornly nuzzle at it for a few seconds before seeking out an alternative route. Should the bug be knocked onto its back it will do its utmost to right itself.

The official literature that comes with the purchase of the HEXBUG Nano advises the user on the supreme fun that is to be had in building little ramps and mazes for the little bot.

The literature leaves out the bug’s ultimate calling.

The Hexbug is a cat toy

Fig. 1. Siouxsie and Gaius, conquering the HEXBUG Nano

As many YouTube videos demonstrate, the HEXBUG Nano, like the Sphero, is one of today’s ultimate cat toys – thinly veiled as an educational toy for humans.

I have three cats at home, of varying ages, and they all think this bug is the best thing since that pigeon that accidentally flew into our house a few weeks ago.

Many are the mornings that I have got out of bed only to find that the lifeless husk of a HEXBUG Nano had been carefully laid inside one of my slippers during the night, the work of one of the cats in anticipation of the hours of anxious play that would come when I finally get around to replacing the batteries of this immortal prey.

At a precarious £8-£9 high street value at HMV or Waterstones (or from £3 and up online), the HEXBUG Nano is an investment for those times when you just don’t want to move but must somehow still entertain your indifferent pet, or for when your cat has been acting particularly high-and-mighty and you feel the need to belittle it with a marvel of human technological achievement.

Comment with any photos, videos or tales of cat and gadget related tomfoolery! We’d love to hear from you

Kate Bystrova

Cambridge-based illustrator and grammar enthusiast, and lover of sci-fi, books and video games. Cat-pamperer extraordinaire.

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