Elmo Live Dissected

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kbc's picture


My daughter has an elmo live which when he starts to dance and bends over he stays hunched over. How could I repair this?

erricsimmons's picture

RetroPlayer said: First let me warn you, if you have small children that love Elmo with all their heart, you may not want to let them view this thread. :) For all the help Sevik has given me while working on reverse-engineering the Elvis bust, I decided I needed to send him a thank you gift. I was originally going to send him a bust since he didn't even have one, but he isn't so much into that anyway. So I stumbled on the Elmo Live (which actually JUST hit the stores...) After showing him some videos he decided he must have one. So, I pre-ordered two of them and one will be shipped off to the Ukraine to meet its new happy owner.  HI, SEVA! But... one of them had to be opened up. And this is the story... First of all, let's go over his movements. Elmo Live can stand or sit, and can cross his right leg in the sitting position. Each of his arms move up and down. His right arm also is also articulated at the elbow to allow him to bring his hand to his mouth. His neck moves back and forth and his head can rotate upwards Finally his mouth opens and closes There are only 3 motors and 3 encoders to provide all of the movements. There is some trickery in how the movements are done and what must be some very interesting cams and clutches inside the two gearboxes within the torso. Obviously, I was a little disappointed about this, but it still has some potential, I think. Unbelievably, as much as I find Elmo annoying, this toy is actually pretty entertaining (he is just a little too loud, though.) He has some cute stories, games, and animations. This generated a small amount of sympathy while I was skinning the fella. Elmo has four switches that allow you to interact with him. Left foot, back, belly, and his nose. He also has a tilt switch in his left foot, which is weighted by the batteries. While fully fur-clad, it really looks like he has a ton of articulation and his movements are very fast, springy, and life-like. The illusion is well done and all of the stories, etc... are programmed to make great use of his limited movements. Overall, a very well engineered toy that looks hard to break. I will be "toying" around with this for a bit to see what kind of mayhem I can wrought. This thread will detail my adventures. So far, I have managed to remove all of his fur without damaging it and will be posting the pictures and a how-to soon. I took 22 pictures just for the process of removing the fur, so it might be a little long for a forum thread. For now, I present: Elmo Live Dissected

Yeah, there are very cool robot's pictures has been posted by you over here. I like it a lot, I think they all are one robot. I am interested to buy it, would you like to sell me? One thing let me know you that price is no matter. 

Steph's picture

My elmo alive and recently stopped speaking, he still moves ok and opens his mouth but appears to have laryngitis!!! I have replaced the batteries but this hasn't helped, any suggestions

OneSxyOne's picture

Hello. I have been reading through the threads and I realize they are old, but I have an issue with my Elmo Live I cannot find brought up here. Even with the demo mode strip removed, elmo only says the demo mode phrase "elmo loves you, muah". He did read and do all the things he is supposed to for a brief time. The batteries are brand new. I have replaced them with 2 sets. How can I override this flaw and get elmo to once again operate in full mode?

Boogla's picture

I have one that gets half way through his chat and stops! Would any of you guys like to have it as a project? Seems a shame to throw him away!!

Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la (elmo style)!!

Elmo falling over
Elmo falling over's picture

Hello everyone, I bought an elmo live for my 2 year old a couple of years ago, after a few weeks, it suddenly started stuttering it's speech and made a noise like it was struggling to move its legs, then it just clicks and falls over every time . I didn't have much time to do anything with it, so it was out in the loft, I am now wondering if it would be possible to repair/fix it, as I hate throwing good toys away, it would be such a waste.

Ay help would be greatly appreciated.


RetroPlayer's picture

Sorry for the lack of response to everyone. The problem isn't so much fixing elmo, but putting him back together. If you have the means to do that nearly every problem mentioned on here is related to either shorts in wiring or the encoders have slipped position and need to be moved back. Elmo is a rather simple toy, so unless some plastic piece is physically broken (unlikely) he should be fairly simple to repair. Again, taking him apart is easy, putting him back together is not so easy.

Geoffrey's picture

We just picked up our Elmo live doll. What an amazing little robot.

We have a problem, when Elmo begins to ponder on which story to tell he begins to cross his right leg over his left. This is where our problem. He begins to tip and eventually topples over.

I am not to sure what he actually does after he crosses hi legs.

Can anyone assist me?

Thank you very much.

RetroPlayer's picture

That's not unusual. He came with a seat that he sits on in that position.

Belinda's picture

Hello- My problem is Elmo has not been played with but a few times and I took him out one day and my daughter accidentally pushed him over and he hit the floor. He want stand anymore. So I took him apart and realized a plastic part on his leg broke. Tried some super glue but his leg still not working. I just need leg from knee down on battery side fixed. Any suggestions?

lbaitis's picture

Bree - This is a long shot since your post was years ago, but were you able to fix your Elmo?  My daughter has one that just started doing the same thing with the clicking noises around the mouth area. Thanks for any info you may be able to share!