My Robosapien Hacking

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Stage 1: developing communication between a PICmicro and Robosapien

I started work on my hack by tapping three wires into robosapien's control board, the first two go to Vcc and Gnd and provide the power supply, the third taps into IR-OUT (or IR on different PCB revisions).
I was working with a PIC16F84A, which may not be the best of the PICs but it is what I had been using for the previous 5 years and I have built up a few spares. The 16F84A ran on a 4MHz clock which gives a command cycle of 1 micro-second (1-millionth of a second, 0.000001 seconds per command). Using the delay generator available from: I built a program in MPASM (assembly language) to send a command to the Robosapien.
The protocol used on the robosapien's IR port is documented here: (mirrored here).

I wrote some PIC assembly to receive commands from the remote, incercepting the commands by disconnecting the wire running to the PCB from the IR-receiver in the head (white wire) and connecting this to the PICmicro (labelled IRIN in my code). The files are at the foot of this page under the "Downloads" heading. I was then able to read the commands from the remote and pass them on to the robosapien by driving a seperate pin (IROUT) connected to the IR-OUT pad on the PCB. Though not exactly useful in itself this was the starting point for further programming.


Robosapien's PCB with the 3 wires to VCC, GND and IR-OUT.

Robosapien with prototype board taped to back.

Close up showing prototype board and PICmicro on stripboard. I went on to add another connection for the IR-IN

The hole made by leaving out the speaker backplate, this is very helpful as it doesn't involve making any holes in robosapien to pass cables out. The potentiometer on the right hand side controls the volume of robosapien's speaker (I simply followed the instructions described on This was very handy for late night hacking.

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Except where noted otherwise these Photographs are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Robosapien, Robosapien V2 & Roboquad are trademarks or registered trademarks of WowWee Group Limited.

I accept no responsibility or liability for anything you do. You may dismantle, alter or modify your Robosapien/RobosapienV2/Roboquad at your own risk.