Robotics Projects and Hackz. These are exercises in Learning; the potential strengths and weaknesses of our future Overlords- Robotics' operational parameters, if you will.

Friday, November 23, 2012

FURBY 2012 Hacking

The Furby is back and has some pretty cool LCD eyes.

First order of biz is to wire the little beast up to dedicated power and put a volume control on the speaker.
Simply unplugging the brown wires from the board, add a potentiometer between one of them and the speaker, and slip it all back together again.

Power is provided by 4 AA batteries providing 6 volts or so.  Total voltage needed is likely the familiar 5 volts, and the total current drawn by the Furby around 500 mA peak (when all the motors are gearing), so USB-type power supply will work (max USB output is 500 mA).

The best way to activate the Furby from sleep mode seems to be depressing the tongue.  A sensor (or two or three?) ar under there and some the pins from the sensor board can be accessed from the underside of the mouth.  Three of the most prominent pins got tapped (soldered a 3-wire ribbon cable to them) and one of these seems to wake the Furby when grounded.  Now the Furby can be activated using a simply switch, or... using TTL level with a solid state relay.

Next up is hooking a Arduino up to control (or at least wake and auto "feed", "tickle" and "pet") the Furby.  Capacitance sensors are located on the top of the head and around the body to detect petting and tickling/holding respectively.

Additional references:

1.) Furby 2012 tear down (detailed photos of various circuit boards)
2.) Adafruit Furby taxidermy and partial tear down
3.) Ultrasonic sound control protocol description and Perl Library (via Hack-a-Day)


  1. Since you're one of the pioneers of Furby 2012 model hacking, you might be interested in this project: — this one allows to control Furby from a computer using its own audio communication protocol.

    1. Thanks, I was just adding a link to that when I saw your comment!

  2. hi guys

    what about recording the signal which goes to the speaker, load it in to a man in the middle device and check the record for the code or at least check it with a data base of the sound which the furby is able to do. replace the sent signal by something else you would like to have and the resend the same code(command code) which was used for the command before once again.
    in that way you can let the furby use his very own behavior and his normal sound and mod the sounds to a behaviro which is funny with own sounds.

    Furbys speaker of course has to be mute taped.

    It will look like the furby shows emotions the first time and afterwards it does the same behavior just with our sound which comes out of the addition device we added.

    I have no idea how much work this will take but it would be really funny.

    what do you think? please let me know