If you should happen to catch a glimpse through your neighbor's window of a giant, Cocker Spaniel-sized spider crawling around on the floor, don't panic. No, you haven't been trapped inside a first-person shooter, nor do you need to call Ghostbusters. It just means one of your neighbors is a precocious kid (or maybe overgrown kid) who's built an Arcbotics Hexy. And that's good, because it takes an intelligent, skilled kid or adult to build a Hexy, so maybe your neighbor or their kid can also help you build that Ikea wall unit you've been having so much trouble with. Hexy is an adorable, fairly inexpensive, Kickstarter-funded hexapod, which is bot-speak for a robot that walks on six legs -- like a spider. He has big, Wall-E-like eyes and can respond to remote-controlled commands that include walking, turning, waving, and even dancing to music using a funky beat-detection algorithm. He has 19 separately operable servomotors for moving his head and legs. Owning a Hexy is like having a well-trained six-legged dog that can pair with Bluetooth devices. (All dogs should pair with Bluetooth devices. It's the next big thing.)
Robotics enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that Hexy is an open-source device and is fully programmable, if you want him to do something he can't do out of the box. Serious coders can write Python routines to do anything those fully articulated legs are capable of and there are plenty of helpful subroutines available on the Internet from Arcbotics and fellow Hexy enthusiasts. Building this bot out of the bevy of neatly bagged parts he arrives in requires a screwdriver, craft knife and a drill, so don't expect him to be up and dancing in one day, unless you're obsessive enough to skip dinner and basic bodily functions to do it. But robot kits aren't just about the robot. They're about the fun of assembling the parts, with all the frustration and thrill of accomplishment that implies.
If you or your child need a simpler robot project, try the Makeblock Codeybot, which teaches basic programming skills. Or if you want something as complicated as Hexy, consider the Meccano Meccanoid XL 2.0.
Fun but above average it is difficulty to build. It needs basic hobby skills and basic programming.
An easy to use interface right off from the start, it really is plug and play.
Hexy was a fantastic learning tool. It is just plain adorable! I love watching it dance.