HACKING the WowWee Chimp Head

 

Introduction:

The Alive Chimpanzee is produced by WowWee Alive, a division of WowWee Ltd. The animatronic Chimpanzee is the first in WowWee Alive's product line. Unlike WowWee's other robots, the Chimpanzee only consists of the head of a chimpanzee.

The Chimpanzee, our closest animal relative, just got a little bit closer in this state-of the-art bust. A life-size animatronic replication and realistic behavioral sounds and motions is made possible through the "magic" of realistic Hollywood special effects.

Lifelike hair and skin, and a startlingly expressive, interactive personality really bring this simian alive!

Multi-sensory, highly communicative and fully interactive, Chimpanzee has four distinct moods: Curious, Fearful, Happy and Angry. So real, he's unreal!

Watch Commercial : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPtq1PKmhIw
WowWee in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yljHGmPW0RY


Hacking the robot:



Working on the chimp head :
Demo of the mechatronics head in the normal mode. The robot can make sound, be controlled by the remote, have different moods, react to several touch sensors, …

Opening the head.


L

ocalization of the different motors and sensors. We can find in the head:

- 8 motors: (6V DC motor)
- Head Left-Right
- Head Up-Down
- Mouse Open-Close
- Eyes Left-Right
- Eyes Up-Down
- Eyebrows Up-Down
- Eyelids Open-Close
- Nose up-Down
- 1 limit switch (for the nose motor)
- 7 encoders (potentiometer indeed) for the other motors
- 1 touch sensor (chin): pressure sensor
- 2 touch sensors (top of head) pressure sensors
- 2 sonic sensors (ears)
- 2 touch sensors (ears)
- 2 IR sensors (transmitter+receiver): tracking vision



Installation of the new board in the chimp head: this board contains the connectors



Installation of the new board in the chimp chest: this board contains the PIC controller and the motors drivers.

Realization of some test program:
- to control the different motors and make them move in both direction
- to get the values of the encoders to identify the position of the different motors