Nabaztag hardware investigation

Oripy edited this page Jan 25, 2013 · 2 revisions

My personal notes on the dissection of Nabaztag hardware


Nabaztag v1

(same pictures on both links)

Nabaztagtag (Nabaztag v2)

Personal investigation (ongoing)


All external elements (motors, sensors, button and power) are connected to the motherboard by removable connectors, but it seems that some glue was added. I managed to disconnect them using a flat screwdriver.


In order to have a nice circle on the Nabaztag body instead of a blurry light, LEDs are focused by pieces of black plastic, which are glued to the motherboard. As I want to keep the motherboard intact, I will have to find substitute for those little black tubes.

The LEDs themselves seems to be RGB SMD LEDs. I don't really need to investigate more than that as I will not reuse those LEDs. I just have to find suitable RGB LEDs (not SMD as I don't have any experience with those tiny components).


Each ear is put in motion by an electric motors with some plastic reduction gearbox. In the v2 of the Nabaztag it seems that they changed that with a pulleys-belt system. At first I thought that the motors were stepper motors, but it seems that they are in fact just classic DC motors (only two wires are connected to them).

At first I thought that the ear positioning was controlled by an absolute optical encoder, but it is way simpler than that. A IR encoder is used to control the rotation, a wheel with 20 tooth passes in front of the IR sensor. Actually 3 of those tooth are missing (in order to detect the absolute position). The Nabaztag is doing a full rotation of the ears when booting in order to initialise the positioning.

Numbering each teeth from 0 to 19, ear is vertical when teeth number 3 is in front of the sensor, and horizontal when it is teeth number 13.


  • Find the characteristics of the motors, then find a good driver board (an H bridge which can control two motors such as L298N seems suitable).


The loudspeaker is very classic (and very low fidelity). I will have to investigate to see if I can connect it directly to the audio output of the Raspberry-Pi without fear of damaging it.


The button on the head is connected to the motherboard using a removable connector, I will be able to reuse it directly.


At first I wasn't interested in re-using the Nabaztag power system but as it provides a removable connector that may be easily connected to my electronic board, I may reuse it. At least to power the motors, and maybe the Raspberry-Pi itself if the voltage and other characteristics are suitable.

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