Instructables
Picture of Hack the Nabaztag.
IMG_2828.jpg

This is a Nabaztag - Armenian, apparently, for "hare". It's an adorable bunny rabbit packed with sensors and communication devices.... and it's completely unusable. There's people who wrote some interesting software to hack it, and I applaud them: however, I could never actually get my Karotz (Nabaztag's third incarnation) through the arduous initialization. So, to gain full control over the Bunny, we'll have to do some hardware hacking.

This Instructable takes you through the dissection of a "Nabaztag/tag" and the re-assembly of the basic bits - ears, buttons, and LEDs - with all the code you need to hack one yourself. It doesn't have to end there, though - once you've embedded your own microcontroller, you'll have the flexibility to add whatever functions and sensors you'd like.

 
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Step 1: Materials.

Picture of Materials.

A bunny.

I use a Nabaztag/tag, but either the Nabaztag or Karotz will be fine for this, as we don't delve into the more complicated communications.

A microcontroller.

This is based on the Teensy 3.1, but virtually anything will do. In fact, if you're familiar with BeagleBoneBlacks or RasPi's and plan on doing advanced processing or communication (audio, bluetooth, wifi), use that, as it'll make your bunny way more powerful.

LEDs.

I used addressable LED strip (WS2811), but plain old LEDs will work fine if you just want them to turn on and off.

H-Bridge and Breakout board.

To control the motors, you need an H-Bridge chip. I use an SN754410 to control both motors. It's also good to get a breakout board for it so you don't have to solder directly to its pins.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/315

Headers and sockets.

These are small and break into perfect-size pieces to fit into the existing plugs.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/116

Hacker's screwdriver set.

The first set of screws you need to take out need a triangle screwdriver bit; the rest are all regular Phillips screws. I highly recommend this set as an excellent addition to your kit, if you don't have one already: http://www.ifixit.com/Store/Tools/54-Bit-Driver-K...

Colored wire.

We're going to be connecting lots of I/O devices, so colorful wire is highly recommended to keep track of everything.

Resistors.

2 x 150 ohm

2 x 10K (or something within 5-20K range)

USB Micro cable.

Power/data to the Teensy. It's gonna be permanent, though, so make sure you don't mind sacrificing it for the project.

Other tools/supplies:

- Soldering kit
- Electrical tape
- Scissors/blade
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Cardboard
- Heat shrink

USB phone charger (Optional).

If you want to make your little guy portable, get one of these "lipstick" batteries. You can find them at best buy and even some drug stores, but they're cheaper online: http://www.ianker.com/product/79AN3K-PKA

Breadboard (Optional).

If you like to test stuff out before hard-soldering anything, a prototyping board can be very handy. Line your Teensy with header pins and stick it in, then remove it when you're ready to build it.

Software.

To use my code, you need:

- Arduino environment
- Teensyduino driver
- Adafruit Neopixel library

xalps20 days ago

Hey, thats sounds like it would be a cool way to give back some life to my old Nabaztag:Tag. I will try it this winter :)