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.
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