Joe the Bug Hunter: The Bugbot

It had been snowing for days on end. Joe sat at the kitchen table looking wistfully out the window, dreaming of warm sunny days, green grass and bugs.

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“Mom?”

“Hmm,” she said, washing dishes and dreaming of Spring herself.

“Have you seen any bugs around?”

Joe had searched all over the basement hoping to find just one bug he’d never seen before to break up the boredom. So far he’d had no luck.

Joe’s mom smiled as she answered. “Actually, I think I did see one yesterday. It was downstairs in the storeroom.”

Joe jumped from his chair, grabbed his bug gun and raced down the steps to get to work.

Joe stood in the storeroom and slowly turned in a circle, scanning the area.

Scurry, scurry.

Joe stopped and listened. He could hear…what was that? Almost like little tiny nails scraping across the concrete floor.

Scurry, scurry.

Silently, Joe flipped on his laser light and crouched down to peek under the shelves.

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He crawled along, eyes peeled and waiting to detect any movement.

Scurry, scurry.

A tiny, jiggling bug ran across his laser light. It was…what color was that? Blue? No…purple? A purple bug? Joe shook his head and blinked his eyes a few times before refocusing the light.

He swept it in the direction the “bug” went and it again “jiggled” in front of his gun. Now he was sure of it. The bug was purple.

Joe sat back on his heels. Not only was the bug purple, it looked…plastic. A plastic purple bug that jiggled and jumped and ran around a…track.

“Where did this track come from?” Joe wondered aloud.

“Surprise!”

Joe dropped his gun at the sound of his mom’s voice. She stood in the doorway, a big smile on her face.

“I thought you would enjoy it. It’s called a nano bug. It’s kind of a mini robot.”

“A robot? A robot bug?” Joe asked.

His mom smiled. “Yep. The vibrations make it skitter and jitter and flip and flop. And…you can build different tracks for it…experiment with different containers.”

She smiled as she watched Joe turn the bug over in his hands, trying to figure out how it worked.

“Do you like it? It comes in a lot of different colors too.”

Joe looked up at his mom with a big, happy grin on his face.

“I love it! Can we get a red one?”

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