Innovation First and UK Customs officials had nearly 7,000 robot clones seized and destroyed as they attempted to invade Southampton.
The mini robot toy insects were unauthorized copies of Innovation First's popular Hexbug product line. According to the report, the robots were manufactured in China and intended for sale online in the UK.
The basic concept is simple enough and has been around for years, perhaps decades. Mount a button battery and tiny pager/cellphone vibrator motor on the back of a cut off toothbrush head and you have a cute robot insect that will scramble around providing hours of amusement and entertainment.
Innovation First took the concept to another level, refining the design and adding a lot of character and personality to the robots creating their wildly popular Hexbug line of robotic toys. While the issue of whether or not the Hexbug robots actually inspire kids to get into engineering and science career paths, the toys are pervasive and seem to be on toy and electronic shop shelves everywhere.