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December 20, 2007 04:35 PM

Categories: Robosapien V1 & V2

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Joined: 12/20/2007

I have a RSV2 which I received as a gift from my son about 17 months ago.  It has not been used much, but it has worked perfectly up until this week.  It was last used about 5 months ago, when my grandchildren were visiting. When we tried to start it up, it would begin its start-up sequence and then stop, but not always in the same place.  After about 10 attempts, I got the “bad motivator” message, and this prompted me to replace the batteries for the first time.  Still no joy. After reading some of the posts on this forum, I decided to try to open it up.  I tried again to start up, but got the same result.  Then as I was removing the batteries, I noticed that the two AAAs in one foot were quite warm.  This suggested to me that there was an intermittent short. When I got the body cavity open, I found many small crumbs of insulation from the wiring.    The picture clearly shows that some of the wires are in excellent condition, while others have insulation missing or in the process of breaking off.  In the right hand bundle from the leg, you can see that the violet and gray wires are in good shape, while the red, black, yellow, and green wires have lost much of theirs.  Also note that some of the locations with missing insulation are well away from the robot body, and were not in contact with anything. I know that it is much longer than 90 days since I got this robot, but clearly WowWee used some bad wire in making up the wiring harnesses.  I have been in instrumentation design for over 30 years, and have never seen insulation is such bad condition after such a short time. I do not have the materials or the tools to replace the wires in the circuit board connectors myself.  I could install replacement harnesses (both legs are bad), but I really think that WowWee should replace this robot.  This is a clear example of defective materials. Have others seen this problem?

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 16-30 of 52 | Latest Comment | « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

September 2, 2008 6:59 PM updated: September 19, 2008 6:23 PM

I have this problem with mine too! I bought mine from Best Buy in Nov of 2005 right after it's release date. My serial number is 27605WSHA. Mine never smoked though. It just failed to start up one day. It has not been used very much at all. I contacted WowWee support And they are working with me on getting a replacement.

September 2, 2008 7:09 PM updated: September 2, 2008 7:11 PM

There have been some folks who got an out of warranty replacement on these defective RSV2s. It usually required sending back key components of the defective RSV2, so that the same busted bot didn't just move to another person for another replacement claim.


If you contact WowWee Customer Service and specifically state that you have the same crumbling insulation problem that many other RSV2 owners have seen, you might get past the initial "no repairs" response.

Other than that, you're talking about a product that's several years out of warranty. When is the last time you got a computer replaced when it was years out of warranty, or a DVD player, or a TV, or a dish washer, or a..... you get the idea.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 2, 2008 7:13 PM

Yes, My claim is still open and I can add the info to them. However, I am absolutely positive that they well know what is going on with my RSV2. When it was working, I loved this unit! I am still convinced it is the most advanced robotic toy on the market today. I want it operating again and I will fight to get it.

September 3, 2008 2:03 AM

I came up with a great idea to help people with this in the future. I have taken a large array of pictures so far. I thought maybe if I wrote down how I disassembled my unit step for step and use pictures to illustrate the steps, maybe people would feel more confident to dig in and attack the job. I am creating this "instruction manual" using Microsoft Word. I got a good start on it already. I will keep you posted as to how this project is going.

September 3, 2008 5:49 AM

steve_cb88 said: ..using Microsoft Word.


RoboGuide - Your guide to hacking all things WowWee

September 3, 2008 7:12 AM

I suggest you package up your how-to as an article published right here on RoboCommunity.

The article editor isn't Micro$oft Word (no tremendous loss, there...) but it gets the job done.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 3, 2008 8:24 AM

What the smart man said, though a PDF would probably be better.

RoboGuide - Your guide to hacking all things WowWee

September 3, 2008 9:39 AM

As an article here is a great idea. It is a long way from done though. When I actually have it completed, I am going to have to have someone else who has also made this repair check it out for additional stuff I might have overlooked. Having the original copy on Microsoft Word, I can email the package to someone for close examination plus keep on file for future reference.

September 3, 2008 9:50 AM

Only if your desired reviewer is Word-inated.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 3, 2008 12:02 PM

While I am sure that instructions for opening up the robot will be very helpful in fixing these defective robots, the real roadblock to replacing the bare wires is getting replacements for the connectors to the PC boards. Even if you can find a source of compatible connectors, the only types I know of require expensive tools to assemble them. If WowWee will not replace these robots, then they should at least provide new wires with the necessary connectors already attached.

September 3, 2008 12:36 PM

Here's how I expect that I'd proceed if (or when?!) my V2 gets smoked.

  • For each wire
  1. clip  each end a short distance from connector at each end
  2. cut a new wire slightly longer than section clipped out
  3. slide two pieces of heat shrink tubing onto new wire length (do not shrink them on yet)
  4. solder new wire to stub of wire at one connector
  5. solder other end of new wire to stub of old wire at other connector
  6. slide one of the heat shrink tubes over each solder joint and up to the connector 
  7. shrink the tubing in place
That assumes the connectors are intact and not burned up by the shorting.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 3, 2008 3:15 PM

I have both called and emailed WowWee support for exactly that! I stopped at Radio Shack today and of course found out that they stock no such thing (anymore). Radio Shack is now good for NOTHING except cheap phones and computer supplies. They didn't even have compatible wire.

September 3, 2008 3:27 PM

My local RadioShack still has project supplies. Sockets, risers, cable, wire, battery holders, switches, etcetera.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

September 5, 2008 2:25 PM

Hey guys, I need some advice here.

WowWee has responded back to me.  Here is what they had to say...


I will exchange the RSV2 for you. I will first need the production code. This code can be found inside the battery compartment of the remote or RSV2’s right foot. Please remove the batteries to see a code with numbers and letter on it on a white sticker. Please email me this code and wait for my approval. I will also need you to email me pictures of the cracked wiring to (email addy) As soon as you receive my approval, I will need you to ship us the following items:
RSV2’s remote control
RSV2’s battery covers
RSV2’s arm wires (please cut these wires that run from his body to his hands)

Please DO NOT send the parts collect and DO NOT put the full face value of the item. It will be your responsibility to pay for all customs and duties if there are any. Your package will NOT be accepted if we have to pay for any fees. We suggest you list the items at $5 USD.
Send these parts along with a copy of this email, your production code, ticket number and complete shipping address with telephone number to:

WowWee Canada Inc
As soon as we get your return, your new item will be sent to you. Please allow 3 weeks for delivery of your new unit.

WowWee Customer Service

I would like to know you guys opinion and why would he want the ARM wires instead of the LEG wires?  And the battery covers and the remote...but not the RSV2 its self?  Will I have to tear this thing apart to get ALL of the arm wires?    What do you guys think about this?

September 5, 2008 2:42 PM updated: September 5, 2008 2:44 PM

I believe this is WowWee's way of making sure a defective robot is taken out of service, permanently.

By requiring key components be removed, it keeps the robot from getting into the hands of another user, who could then make another crumbling wire service claim. WowWee rightly only wants to replace a given defective robot once.

I stated that opinion in this thread just a couple of days ago.


With regards to the request

"RSV2's arm wires (please cut these wires that run from his body to his hands)"

I think they're talking about the cables that control the hands. There would be no need to disassemble anything. Just cut the cables where they exit the torso and enter the arm.

You certainly would want to verify that from WowWee, as I have nothing other than an opinion to base this on. I don't work for WowWee, and my advice should not be considered official responses or approvals for anything you do.

ScottE -- collecting and building robots for 40 years - details in profile

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 16-30 of 52 | Latest Comment | « Previous 1 2 3 4 Next »

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