Elmo Live Dissected

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sevik
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@Currahee:

I have not seen robosapien insides, but I think it's very different.

This toy is a very mechanical one :)) It has only 3 motors and a lot of gears, springs, etc.

@Dabic: look at gallery images and images in RetroPlayer posts, there are not much more other images of Elmo internals.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Currahee said:
does the inside look similar to robosapien

Currahee, Its not even close to the robosapien! The V1 uses no strings to move it's feet or arms or hands. All this is done by motors and the circuit is designed around 28 transistors for movement and very hackable. As of the Elmo Alive as you can read the motor encoder disk tends to jump out of place a lot if mishandled buy the young children. Yet this is a really funny robot to be enjoyed as I do yet hacking it is different as you also can read in retro's findings.

 

Jax

Currahee
Currahee's picture

thanks

RetroPlayer
RetroPlayer's picture

Right, Elmo is using only three motors (legs, torso, and head) and a series of cams and pulleys to perform it's various movements. The cams are designed so that when the motor is moved within a certain range, it will perform one of the movements. Encoders are used to let the controller know what range of movement it is operating in.

Since Elmo does not know the absolute position of its limbs, when the encoder is misaligned, it messes up the animation.

Robosapien has several motors so it is much easier to get absolute control.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

RetroPlayer said:
Right, Elmo is using only three motors (legs, torso, and head) and a series of cams and pulleys to perform it's various movements. The cams are designed so that when the motor is moved within a certain range, it will perform one of the movements. Encoders are used to let the controller know what range of movement it is operating in.
Since Elmo does not know the absolute position of its limbs, when the encoder is misaligned, it messes up the animation.
Robosapien has several motors so it is much easier to get absolute control.

good way of discribing it Retro! At least the V1 has no strings attached, haha Just a joke here guys.

 

Jax

MrScott
MrScott's picture

It's interesting to note that the V2 and RSMedia went to tendon technology for the gripper actuators. It was an engineering economy to tether them to the head motor. Not the most flexible design, but it does what it was designed to do.

There's nothing inherently wrong with tendon technology. It's a great way to transfer a lot of power to a small area. Mother Nature has been using it for nearly all of her very spiffy designs. There's no way you could put enough muscle in your hand and still be as nimble and strong as it is.

GWJax
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MrScott said:
It's interesting to note that the V2 and RSMedia went to tendon technology for the gripper actuators. It was an engineering economy to tether them to the head motor. Not the most flexible design, but it does what it was designed to do.
There's nothing inherently wrong with tendon technology. It's a great way to transfer a lot of power to a small area. Mother Nature has been using it for nearly all of her very spiffy designs. There's no way you could put enough muscle in your hand and still be as nimble and strong as it is.

I think they went to the tendons because of cost as the V1 was driven by motors and for the cost of a spring and wire is a lot cheaper and sometimes more effecient than a motor but it does limit the function of the robot as in the V2 because the head must turn to close the hand. Toy companys are always looking for the cheap way out and still make a larger profit and a good product at the same time. I really can't blame them for this as being a repair shop owner some time ago till I sold the business, so I understand where cost is envolved and you need more profit to continue research for the upcoming years for robots.

 

Jax

semclh
semclh's picture

My daughter has had her Elmo since christmas it is now making the clicking sound all the time and having a hard time opening his mouth what can I do to try and fix this problem?

ChrisM
ChrisM's picture

Retro,

Nice thread on dissection, I'm having the same problem as AJ,only I will fess-up and say I broke it. Not implying you did AJ, just saying I did. I moved the head around when the toy was off, tilted it back and moved the mouth a bit. When it turned on it would make about half of the movements when it laughed or sneezed, but the regular talking and head moving was inoperative.

Can I just hold the head in place while turning it on or do I have to dissect. It is not making the clicking described above. I feel horrible and my wife is giving me

sheri
sheri's picture

my 2 year olds elmo is also making a loud fast clicking noise on certain movements and i can hear somethin rattling by its foot. we have no reciept it wasz a christmas gift. my husband has decided when he gets home from work he's gonna take it apart. help im scared lol any suggestions on how to start or what to look for

GottaFixIt
GottaFixIt's picture

My son has broken his Elmo Live, didn't see what he did to it, but there is no rattling noise and everything seems to move smoothly. The first symptoms were that Elmo would stop 2 seconds into any routine and return to "neutral" position. This was the case no matter what button was pressed. After replacing the batteries and testing the buttons out again only to get the same result I put it aside for a couple of weeks and decided to pick it up again today to work on it again. It now does not work at all (changed batteries again, ensured switch set to "on", tried all buttons). Any ideas?

Elmo lIve Dissected
Elmo lIve Dissected's picture

Hello,
I think this section is sooooooo neat. I learned so much. I need some help, I stepped on Elmo's back and now he will not stand up, he still works but I have dissected him and getting a little concerned because I dissected him without seeing your sight, some now I am beginning to panic because my grandson loves Elmo. Do you have a picture of what possibly could be wrong. I did see a long white piece of plastic that's located in his left leg that doesn't seem to be attached to anything. Thanks for you help.

Grandmother

Elmo Oops
Elmo Oops's picture

Before I saw your site I tried fixing the left leg of my nephew's Elmo Live!When I dissected the left leg 2 springs popped off! Now I am not sure where they were located or how they were positioned! Could U please help so I can piece it back together for my nephew! Is there a pic I can refer to?

jtrica2001
jtrica2001's picture

our little one seems to have gotten Elmo's mouth stuck. It does NOT open OR close. Everything else seems to work fine. If I flip him upside down, it starts to move slightly. How would I get it 'unstuck'? Thanks.....

x
x's picture

Im not so happy on how elmo was designed. My sons elmo has clicking sound. I opened elmo up and found out that the problem are with the gears. I fixed the problems with the gears and was so happy that elmos mouth opens and closes like before. Now, im hearing another clicking sound, i opened elmo up again and found out that the problem is coming again from the gearbox, this time its from the gears for the legs. anyone here who could spare their gears???

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Hey milw or any other moderator out there can you delete the multi double post for x and keep this thread clean. Thanks.

x post a photo of what gear or gears you need and I might be able to help you out. Plus great job on restoring the mouth movement. Was it the PT disk AGAIN that was missed aligned from force full playing.. LOL

Jax

Elmo Oops
Elmo Oops's picture

Still Needing help!!! Before I saw your site I tried fixing the left leg of my nephew's Elmo Live!When I dissected the left leg 2 springs popped off! Now I am not sure where they were located or how they were positioned! Could U please help so I can piece it back together for my nephew! Is there a pic I can refer to?

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Elmo Oops said:
Still Needing help!!! Before I saw your site I tried fixing the left leg of my nephew's Elmo Live!When I dissected the left leg 2 springs popped off! Now I am not sure where they were located or how they were positioned! Could U please help so I can piece it back together for my nephew! Is there a pic I can refer to?

Take a photo of what you have going on and I'll open up my Elmo and add some photos to the thread since I just went through the entire thread looking at the photos and did not see what you need..

 

Jax

Elmo Oops
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GWJax said:

Elmo Oops said: Still Needing help!!! Before I saw your site I tried fixing the left leg of my nephew's Elmo Live!When I dissected the left leg 2 springs popped off! Now I am not sure where they were located or how they were positioned! Could U please help so I can piece it back together for my nephew! Is there a pic I can refer to?

Take a photo of what you have going on and I'll open up my Elmo and add some photos to the thread since I just went through the entire thread looking at the photos and did not see what you need.. Jax

Thank You! Do you need me to add the photos I have taken?

GWJax
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@ Elmo Oops, Yes please, post your photos here and then I 'll look at them and post other pictures of mine to help you out.

Jax

Elmo Oops
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         (The springs that popped off)

GWJax
GWJax's picture

WOW!!! that was fun and hard at the same time. So if your ready make sure you have a spring hook like the IBM spring hook that you will see me using and also a pair of needle nose pliers. So lets get started with the photos and read the captions under them to understand what I'm doing.

 

OK let's start with these two parts, a white cam with a post and the sprint with a tab sticking out of it.

Insert the spring into the small hole on the cam showen above.

 

Looking at the picture install the cam and spring as showen, but do not push the cam all the way down. Using your pliers hold on to the small stub of the spring so it does not drop out. Do not loose pressure on the pliers because in the next step you'll see why.

 

Using your pliers and your hand move the cam into the correct possition and seat the unit into place. you now can let it go and it will stay in place for the really fun part.

The next spring is aligned as such, the smaller part of the spring must stay within this cradle, Yes this is hard to do when putting it on the the other side.

 

This tool is an IBM spring hook. I will be using the round end to grab the upper part of the spring and pulling it into possition. If you do not have one you can make one out of a wire coat hanger for this purpose.

Remember NOT to forget that white/tan support spacer next to my thumb like I did before attaching the other side of the leg.

 

Attach the other part of the leg side with the large spring. Remember to keep that lower part of the spring within it's stopping place. Press down on the top where my hand is and using the spring hook pull the spring back until you can close the gap at the top as showen. Keep pressure at this point until you can get the first upper left screw back in place.

 

Once all screws are in place you now can install the foot cover and the battery pack..

Have fun with this one. From the time I started ripping down the leg and taking photos and back together again it only took me 1 1/2 hours. But thats just because I was taking pictures and  trying to figgure out the best and easiest way for you to put him back together. Since I did the hard work for you it should only take about 20 to 30 min to complete this fix..

 

Happy Hacking and I hope this helped you,

 

Jax

Elmo Oops
Elmo Oops's picture

GW Jax THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really appreciate your time & the hard work you did in helping me out! I would have never been able to figure out how to put the leg back together w/out your photos & instructions! You really helped me out a Lot! Thanks Again!!!

GWJax
GWJax's picture

No Problem Elmo Oops, That's what this community is all about!!! I'm glad this helped you out and Happy Hacking..

Jax

Glen
Glen's picture

this is very interesting. My little girl has an Elmo live, and it was making the annoying clicking noise after abuot a month or so. I held the head in position and let it run through its routine, that problem seemed to have resolved itself now that things are lined up correctly. A new problem now is the mouth will not open up when it is talking. Do you have any ideas on how to resolve that? I look forward to hearing more on this adventure.

GWJax
GWJax's picture

Glen said:
this is very interesting. My little girl has an Elmo live, and it was making the annoying clicking noise after abuot a month or so. I held the head in position and let it run through its routine, that problem seemed to have resolved itself now that things are lined up correctly. A new problem now is the mouth will not open up when it is talking. Do you have any ideas on how to resolve that? I look forward to hearing more on this adventure.

Glen, Sorry for the long delay on your problem inwhich you might have already figgured it out. If you read the complete thread you will find your answer. What had happen is when you held the mouth shut you took the PT sensor disk out of alignment. RetroPlayer had already explained how to realign this problem. If you can't find how to do this, drop another post and I'll guide you through it.

Jax

Glen
Glen's picture

GW Jax, thank you for your response. Sorry i have not seen anything about correcting the PT Sensor disk, so any further guidance would be greatly appreciated. Can this be done without opening Elmo up, or will I need to actually cut into him? Thank you for any assistance in this

GWJax
GWJax's picture

@ Glen, Yes you will have to open him up to do the repairs, Just make sure that you remove the stitch line from the neck up to the head. I'll need to do this to mine in-order to give you a step by step repair. But please give me a few days for this so I can document it correctly so no mistakes will be had on your part by following my instruction.

Jax

Glen
Glen's picture

GW Jax, no problem. Please let me know once you have the step by step details, much appreciated

GWJax
GWJax's picture

You'll know when it hits this thread via e-mail like you seen after I replied to your problem. I should have it ready in a few days.

Jax

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