5-Minute Project: the WowWee Robotics Keychain




Beginning in March 2007, WowWee Robotics, the makers of the Robosapien line of robot toys, began including a familiar face inside McDonald's restaurant Happy Meals. For the price of a Happy Meal (nominally around $2), "boys meals" featured one of eight different WowWee Robotics toys. Conversely, the "girls" Happy Meal included a My Little Pony premium toy.

The eight robot toys were:

  • Robosapien - #1; walking (mechanical)
  • Roboraptor - #2; vocalizing (electronic)
  • Robosapien V2 - #3; talking (electronic)
  • Roboreptile - #4; rolling (mechanical)
  • Robopet - #5; walking (mechanical)
  • Roboraptor - #6; chomping (electronic)
  • Robosapien V2 - #7; standing (mechanical)
  • Roboreptile - #8; biting (electrical)

According to a source close to the production of these "nano" Robo toys, 60 million units were produced for distribution through McDonald's. Furthermore, this same source named the "walking" Robosapien as the most "clever" of them all. Collect all eight and "super size" yourself.

After you've had your fill of the entire Robosapien nanos menagerie, you might want to consider modding one of the toys for a more "mature" flavor. Let's remove the digital speech circuit from inside the talking Robosapien V2 nano and embed it inside a Serpac enclosure.

Enter the WowWee Robotics Keychain.

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Step 1: How to Make a WowWee Robotics Keychain

Time: 5-minutes
Cost: $5.36
Difficulty: Easy

Parts List

Step 2: Hacker Proof

Say it ain't so; a WowWee Robotics toy that is hacker proof! Each Robosapien V2 nano is tightly secured with a series of triwing-like tamperproof fasteners. Likewise, each toy is also glued shut.

A narrow blade straight screwdriver can be used to remove the fasteners, as well as pry the two body shells apart.

Step 3: Voice Box Removal

Inside the chest cavity there is a miniature circuit board with a rubber pushbutton switch. Attached to this circuit board is a small speaker connected via two short wires and a set of three button cell batteries. This entire assembly is held in place by two white plastic posts. Use your handy narrow blade straight screwdriver to gently pry the circuit board up and off of these two plastic posts.

Note: the three button cell batteries could "spring" out of the circuit board's battery clips. Don't lose these batteries. Keep them together with a short piece of transparent tape.

Step 4: Just Drop It In

Insert the batteries (held together with a piece of transparent tape) into the voice box's battery clips. Slide the power switch into the "on" position. Make sure that the voice box is working properly. Press the rubber pushbutton. Drop the working voice box into the Serpac enclosure. Center the voice box's rubber pushbutton underneath one of the enclosure's pushbuttons.

In order to ensure a snug fit underneath the enclosure's pushbutton, lay a rubber grommet, salvaged wheel from a toy car, or some other insulated material over one of the rubber posts on the back of the circuit board. Join the keychain enclosure together and test the operation of the voice box.

As long as you leave the voice box's power switch "on," you can play one of the RS V2 nano's canned messages with the press of the button on your new WowWee Robotics Keychain.

Step 5: Video Killed the Bot Star

And finally, sometime in 2009, you will be able to watch Robosapien on the silver screen. Deemed a "beloved icon," Robosapien will be brought to life through the cinematic talents of Arad Productions.

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    6 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    This is kinda cool. But what would be really cool is if you could hack the guts and record your own message on it and leave it in the bot body. I have a bunch of these "talking" toys around that my kid doesnt play with. It would be cool to record my own messages on them and have them hang out in my cube at work to entertain me.

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    You could easily get a voice recorder from radio shack and hack it in. Make it record clean up your toys for your kid then they will listen.


    12 years ago

    Good use for MD stuff :)! As you have some free buttons on your WowWee, you can add a small LED+switch circuit and have a small torch.