I received a Nabaztag/tag from my girlfriend this Christmas, bless her soul:) For those not familiar with the Nabaztag, check out Wikipedia’s page about it.
The Nabaztag/tag is made by a company called Violet. It is Violet’s 2nd generation Nabaztag and adds a few new features on top of the 1st generation. There is a relatively strong Nabaztag community on the internet. Quite a few sites exists with neat software hacks and documentation that allow users to have some control of the device. However, I hadn’t seen anyone really take advantage of the hardware in any way other than what Nabaztag’s inventors intended. From what I gather, its possible to run bytecode on a “virtual machine” on the Nabaztag, but that doesn’t give you full access to the Nabaztag’s hardware.
It would be great to gain complete control of the Nabaztag – ie download a custom version of the firmware such that you would have complete control of the processor and peripherals. This would be a fun project, and might open up the possibility of adding additional sensors or output devices to the Nabaztag to expand its features. Additionally, it would open the door to using server implementations completely unassociated with Violet, which occasionally has “service problems”.
In a perfect world, the firmware for the Nabaztag would be stored in a nice, neat, extractable flash chip which could be easily removed, backed-up, replaced, modified, etc. Alas, Violet was not so considerate:) During my investigation I had to dismantle the Nabaztag. I snapped some pictures during this process: