The self-balancing technology that powered the overhyped disappointment that was the Segway is finally living up to its full potential with Hexbug’s new VEX Battling Boxing Robots line. You can not only build a pair of robo-pugilists that ride around on hoverboards, you can also fight them using motion controls to knock your opponent’s head clean off.
The comparisons to the classic kids’ toy Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots are inevitable, but Hexbug’s boxers look like they will provide a far more satisfying experience as they’re not trapped inside a tiny ring, perpetually within arm’s reach of each other.
If you’re skilled enough at the controls, provided through an accompanying mobile app that lets you throw right or left jabs by twisting your smartphone, you can sneak behind your opponents and deliver a cheap shot to the back of the head. Because they’re both robots, there’s never any guilt about using dirty tactics.
During a match, as blows are traded, each robot’s health will slowly diminish until a death blow is delivered causing one of the bot’s heads to go flying. It makes for a satisfying victory, but the damage is easy to repair because these robots are build-it-yourself to begin with. When available closer to autumn of 2018, these robots will be included as part of Hexbug’s Vex line and will sell for between $90 (£64) and $150 (£106). Pricey, but much cheaper than trying to build yourself a real Battle Bot that’s expensive to repair after a fight.