WowWee RoboPanda's RFID FriendPosted by Nocturnal on Tuesday, 3 June 2008
I had no real idea of where the RFID tag was hiding, but I figured it was somewhere in the stomach. I decided the best point of entry was the label on his back. So I could extract the RFID tag, and get rid of the label at the same time. After slicing him open and removing most of the stuffing, I finally located the RFID in a little pouch attached to the inside of his chest.
With a little bit of desoldering, I removed the shield off the RFID receiver, unfortunately whats underneath is another epoxy blob, so there is no way to know whats in there. I suspect though, it means that the receiver will not be able to read any other type of RFID tag.
The signal is 8 bits long and looks a lot like the demodulated signal from Wow Wee's remotes. An examination of the RFID tag revealed that it has 10 jumper pads on it. Two of them are tied to capacitors and connect to the same input. The other eight, labeled OP0 to OP7, relate to the 8 bits of the signal. Closing one of the jumper pads, changes the bit in the signal. The signal looks a little something like this.
What all this means is that WowWee has left the RoboPanda open. If there are enough sales, and if there is enough interest, they might in the future release additional modules and furry friends to go with them. It also seems, despite my insanity, that I am not the only one to try something like this. Andr0id pop'ed up on the RoboSapien.TK forums not long after I finished doing this. He seems to be trying to replace the RoboPanda's brain, he's only part way along, but it's not a bad read.