Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Furby Disassembly: Part 1

"Cookie Muffin, Too"

Faced with a malfunctioning $8 Goodwill Furby, I set about non-destructive disassembly of my daughter's new sick pet, inspired by the dramatic skinning of a Furby by Becky at Adafruit.

I was also inspired by Doc McStuffins.

And yes, I was secretly happy the Furby wasn't working; I confess wondering what was inside the moment after I saw the price tag.

Don't worry. No Furbys were harmed in the making of this blog post.

The Furby was making odd chattering noises, strange light fluctuations in the eyes, and shutting off unexpectedly. For awhile the eyes and beak weren't moving in time with speech. New batteries helped a little but this was a sick little fella.


$8 furby before looking inside
He's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes.

Removing the Fur


First step is to remove the battery cover and remove batteries. That's easy enough. Then remove the screws around the battery tray that hold a retaining clip which keeps the bottom end of the fur in place.

skinning the furby: bottom ring

Next, start peeling back the fur. Near the tail you'll find a loop attached to a hook. Remove that.

inside furby: removing the fur


Now peel up the fur. It is clipped in two spots at the back, around the ears and around the face with locking plastic tabs.

inside furby: removing the fur
Locking tab shown with small slot below for unlocking.


In most cases, wherever there's a clip, there's a slot below it so that you can insert a small screwdriver and push up on the locking tab and pull out the clip.

At the front, after removing two screws holding the fur to the body, insert screwdriver to unlock the tabs, unplug the red wire, and pull the fur up.

inside furby: removing the fur
Two screws and two clips in front below face.

Inside the furby
Remove the red tickle sensor wire.

Now pull up the fur to each ear, for which there are two more clips. You'll need to remove the ears first. They are held in by internal clips so you may have to pry, twist, etc. to get them off.

Inside the furby
Remove ear clip with screwdriver in small slot

One ear of the furby popped right off, the other took more work and came off in two pieces, the actual ear first, which came loose from a glued-in retaining clip (still attached, below).

Inside the furby, removing ears
Ear pulled loose from retaining mechanism
Now, insert screw driver and remove the ear clips. The right top clip can sort of slide out in front of the ear if that's easier.

Remove two white plastic covers that go over the ear nubs (shown below).

The furby without fur
Ear nubs, white ear cover things. Right ear came off in two pieces.
The fur is clipped in two spots at each side of the face. Again with the screwdriver to pry the locking tabs out of the way, slide out the clips.

Removing Furby's fur
Clip at side of face
There are two more clips at the top above the face.
Removing Furby's fur
Clips at top of face, clips/ring for ears shown.

Removing Furby's fur
One top clip removed
You are now left with this fascinating sight of a Furby without fur. That's not creepy. You might as well put the batteries back in so it can talk to you in this skinned state. Fun. I'm not weirded out.


The furby without fur
Skinned Furby

Removing the Back Cover

Four phillips screws hold the back cover on the Furby. You will probably have to cut through some tape to get to them all. There are two at the bottom on each side, and two at the top near the face clips.

Taking apart furby
Right bottom screw

Taking apart furby
Left bottom screw

Taking apart furby
Top screws between ears and sliver sensor
Before you remove the back cover, you have to peel back the silver sensors on each side. As you have no doubt guessed, the Furby uses these to detect if you're petting its head or holding him or whatever.

It's affixed with good old fashioned clear tape. Peel it up with something sharp. You can always re-affix the sensor with packing tape.

Taking apart furby
Right side sensor, peeled back.
Peel back the left sensor past the white speaker grille, further than shown below.

Taking apart furby
Left side sensor, peel back further than this.
Now you can remove the back cover and see what's really inside your Furby.

Inside the furby

Inside there's an optical encoder board for the eyelids using a Schmitt trigger inverter, plugs for the speaker, and other goodies that I didn't really explore further.

Inside the furby
Inside the back cover

Inside the furby
Optical encoder for the eyelids. Try running the Furby in this state...

Inside the furby
Speaker connector and... I'll find out later.

Inside the furby
I'll find that out later, too.
I'll post more details when I disassemble further. I thought I had the Furby working again but after putting it all back together... I was wrong. And now we have another sick Furby in the clinic.

If you find this useful or interesting, I'd love it if you could share it with others. Thanks!

39 comments:

  1. Awww how much beautiful it was looking before destruction..!! But however to make a little toy, so much machinery is used..!!

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    1. Rest assured, it was not destroyed :) My daughter would be most upset if I wrecked her toy.

      On the contrary I am hoping to come up with a fix for its narcolepsy -- the Furby shuts off randomly then starts back up again.

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  2. Thanks! My son's has been broken for a few months. This helped me get it running again.
    P.S. The ears are a pain to work with.

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  3. Thanks! My son's had been broken for a few months. This helped me get it running again.
    P.S. The ears are a pain to work with.

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  4. Help!! My little girl is Autistic and she loves Furbys. We have one that lost it's voice and it has become her "quiet" Furby - She sleeps with him, takes him to the store, and even to school. He is about to fall apart and I need to find a new one, but I need to figure out how to cut or unplug the speaker wires. When accessing the speaker, would I need to take all of the fur off, or is there a way to partially de-fur him just to get access to the speaker? Is there an easier way to get to those wires? Cutting would be no big deal to me if it's easier to get into than the unplugging. She has 5 billion other Furbys that talk, so a quiet one is greatly needed. Thanks for your time! ~S

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    1. oh no...I just realized your last post was from last year! well I hope you got your sick furby fixed, and thanks so much for this tutorial!!! I'm sure I'll figure it out. :) ~S

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    2. Hi there, thanks for the question. The speaker is internal to the Furby, so you have to disassemble as in the article to get to the speaker plug.

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    3. Is it a newer 2012 ish type furby or the older kind from the late 90's? Kcause the speaker and wries for the new ones are tougher to get to, not impossible just time consuming, no handy dandy screws that hold the skeleton together on b these nearly as much, uuuuugh.

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    4. Mind if i butt in here? Lol, anyway the ears are what i end up fiddling with the most, and yes sorry TV to say you gonna need to take atleast its left ear off to get the fur pulled up, posted a video on youtube called skinning a 2012 furby that hopefully will shed some light on this....

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  5. Which screwdriver for the fur retaining ring on the bottom?

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  6. I've used your excellent tutorial twice now. The first time I had a very successful repair for an ebay Furby. Once again I've got a Furby as a gift for someone, but there was only sound and eyes, no movements.
    I found the problem: In your last pic of this post, there's 2 wires, a red and a brown. They both end at a circular component, and both are connected to it with a small, silicone-wrapped cylinder, about a 1/4 inch long (I think it's a resistor.) The one on the brown wire snapped off from the solder, but the break is super close to the resistor. I removed the silicone wrap, and found that there's a copper wire wrap along the length of the resistor. My problem is that I need to simply replace and resolder the resistor, but I have no idea what the part is rated or anything, and I don't want to burn the toy out.
    I'm hoping you're still answering an occasional question, and that you might have a suggestion for me :) Thaniks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really awesome you were able to recover a Furby! Glad to hear it.

      Can you send me an email directly via the "Contact Me" link?

      I don't remember the part off the top of my head, but maybe after we exchange email you can send me some pics and hopefully we can figure it out.

      Delete
  7. I have a furby boom which is almost identical to this 2012 version.

    But I'm having trouble in getting the ears to come off. It feels like they're completely glued together.

    How did you got the ears of?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Ive taken off a bunch of the 2012 and boom ears.... check the picture with the little stubs that the ears go on. I kinda fold those soft ears like a taco, as tight as i can then pull them straight up. Hard. Sometimes i need to rock the base from side to side. Its like they're glued to those hard stubs, and they really dont want to come off sometime, just dont twist them around, otherwise be tough with them...they arent going to break

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  8. I have the same problem and thus the same question. The furby boom ears seem glued together and I am thinking I might have to resort to cutting slits in the fur so it can slide over the ears. Anyone know if the boom's ears can come off?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was able to disconnect a newer 2012's ears by squeezibg the earlobe like a pita/taco shell and working it off the part of the ear that makes it move. Anyone ever taken a barbie's head off and stuck it back on again? It was similar to that

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    2. Yup, actually the soft bendy part of the ear will pop right off the main body. Ive done it a bunch of times. It takes some steps but i think its worth it, i posted a video 'skinning a 2012' on youtube, dont happen to have the web address at the moment but i hope it helps some

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  9. thank you so much for putting a tear down on here, I have found lots of tear down type hosting on the old Furbys on here but not the 2012 or the booze my and I and im quite lost when it comes to fixing the more computerized 2012 and boom Furbies than the older98/99's, and their mostly mechanical stuff. I felt quite relieved when i FINALLY found something that showed the guts of these newer and kinda complicated/intimidating fuzzballs

    when my used boom came down with this sickness that had it blacking out allll the time, changing from a boy to a girl & going to sleep pretty much all the time, i knew just hitting the stupid reset button wasnt gonna cut it....surgery of some sort was needed....i plan to post my experiment on here at some point....fingers crossed...lol

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  10. Hopefuly they do, i restore furbies that either need new donor parts or just some tlc and put them back on ebay..i wonder if those ears came unattached or had to be broken mysel......awww thats it, my curiosity MUST be satisfied, im gonna find out....and hopefully post back on here

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    1. Forgot to mention: Thank you so much for putting this on here by the way.... Ever think about doing something similar for the 2005's? I skinned one fine but i have no idea what's what, or where like the primary motor is....or actually even how to get at it. Not much on yhe inner workings of specifically 2005's online so...

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    2. Got a few 2005s that ive skinned and for the most part i have no idea whats what either, lol. Wish there was more things like this in regards to the 2005s, many people dont even seem to relize there is a difference (got a few on youtube)

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  11. Hello, could you please help me? I bought a second hand furby boom, but it seems to have some problem, since I put the battery it keep saying the same thing, I tried to reset it, after that it keep saying the same thing. I made a video file:///C:/Users/Brigitta/Documents/Easy%20HTML5%20Video/eh5v-howto.html
    after a few unsuccessfull resets he started to repeat this
    file:///C:/Users/Brigitta/Documents/Easy%20HTML5%20Video/eh5v-howto.html

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  12. I have a Furby boom that you've inspired me to take apart yet some more here. (Its not working right and im racking my brain trying to figure out what is causing it.... it's making a kind of crackling noise when it speaks. I replaced the speaker and that does not seem to be the problem. any ideas?)

    Anyway it looks like the purple wire next to the brown speaker wire are either theeyes or mouth, i havent played with that board yet so im not sure.

    Man, these booms have sooooo many circuit boards!! Lol

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  13. The purple wires go to the mouth.....still not sure which ones light up the eyes

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  14. Oh and DC fyi, these newfangled fellers still have a sync screw like the older ones. I found this out totally by accident too, thought it was holding that case on too but nope, just wound up making it do the "reset dance". the screw is right about in the middle of the back, and that silver sensor strip would pretty much go right over it except they cut a little bit out and covered it with tape.

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  16. My Furby will work for a while then just die.. any fix for this? I bought Furbacca to replace it.. but I hate to say it im just not impressed with it.

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    1. Got a yablet or smartphone to put the free app on by chance?furbacca has its very own app! Lol, Its quite fun

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  17. Hi, I need some help with a Furby boom. Maybe someone seen something like this before, and can help a bit. A new furby was sent to me, but after the arrival it doesn't move anymore, not the eye lids, not the bottom, ears, nothing. It speaks, the eyes are lighting up but nothing else. The weirdest thing is that in 20 second or so it's shutting down, not sleeping, just shutting down. I tend to remove the fur tomorrow but what exactly am I looking for? The motor, a broken sensor?. I cannot change the toy whith a new one, the person that sold it to me is sending me another one, but I want to do something about this one too. I've seen a video on youtube named furby error, it's another furby with the exact same problem, and nobody knows what to do, they are blaiming the batteries, but this is not the issue on this toy. Thank you!

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    1. Sorry for the delayed response. I fixed my Furby Boom. It was the little motor that controlled the movement. I replaced it whith an identical one that I took from an old cd-rom/dvd-rom computer, the one that opens and closes the tray door. It was not easy to change it, but thanks to the pictures above, I finnaly fixed it. One other problem that I encountered, when changing the little motor, take care that the small plastic piece on top of the old motor, is changed and placed on the new one on the exact position, otherwise it can make the furby vibrate, just pull the little piece up or down untill the vibration dissapears.
      Another problem that I found is loosing sound from a toy, It's probably the broken speaker. It can be fixed by taking out the fur, removing the old speaker and replacing it with a new one, from a local electronics store. If someone wants to ask me something about fixing Furbys, please contact me on my email: tefe_2006@yahoo.com. I might not know everythyng about them :)... but I would gladly help if I can.

      Delete
  18. Hi, I need some help with a Furby boom. Maybe someone seen something like this before and can help a bit. A new furby was sent to me, but after the arrival, it doesn't move anymore, not the eye lids, not the bottom, ears, nothing. It speaks, the eyes are lighting up but nothing else. The weirdest thing is that in 20 second or so it's shutting down, not sleeping, just shutting down. I tend to remove the fur tomorrow but what exactly am I looking for? The motor, a broken sensor? I cannot change the toy whith a new one, the guy that sold it to me is sending me another one, but I want to do something about this toy too. I've seen a video on youtube named furby error, it's another furby with the exact same problem, and nobody knows what to do, they are blaiming the batteries, but this is not the issue on this toy. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dear Ionut

      I have a Furby in the exact same condition and a really upset 6 yo daughter.
      Did you happen to find a solution for this one?

      Will really appreciate any information on the subject

      Thanks!!!

      Delete
    2. Dear Ionut

      I have a Furby in the exact same condition and a really upset 6 yo daughter.
      Did you happen to find a solution for this one?

      Will really appreciate any information on the subject

      Thanks!!!

      Delete
    3. I have noticed after doing some more blind surgeries on the booms, that the motor seems to start having issues for allot of'em, effecting what seems like lots of stuff, more specically it moving around.....check out my google+ &youtube stuff, not sure if you're comfortable with skinning and possibly doing some surgery...

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    4. When you remove the fur, also remove the meyal tape like belt and take off that back cove, look at the middle. bottom after you get that off. The cord runs from the motor, look for a silver plate shape there on the bottom see if you can locate a wire running to a plug on the bottom right...near the face cover. The plugin will be small and is usually maroon colored. Wiggle it, did it come lose? does it need to be pushed back in again? if you try to turn it on and no difference normally this is the point were i get a replacemant boom motor and swap the one that may be going bad.....check out my poorly lit video on google+

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  19. My Furby wouldn't move. After skinning and removing back plate I found one of the wires had come off the motor. Just need to solder.

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  20. Where is the tilt sensor located? I've got a sick furby boom that has a motor issue and the tilt sensor is malfunctioning. It acts as if it's upside down when it isn't.

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