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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


(Rumor) i-SOBOT Flash Rom May Be Hackable

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Lem Fugitt of Robots Dreams has unearthed another robot nugget with his latest blog post about i-SOBOT's hackability. Although he indicates the news bit is currently a rumor, he points out that certain conditions indicate it may be a reliable one. Apparently the first production runs of the i-SOBOT may have flash ROM's installed. Flash ROM's can be reprogrammed using specialized equipment. Since these ROM's usually have the sound data files and other items stored on them, it may be possible to change your i-SOBOT's sounds and potentially even "deeper" aspects of his behavior and movement. From the original Tsukumo Robot Kingdom post he cites as the source of the rumor (Japanese language page):
"The initial production lots of i-SOBOTs currently being delivered to customers use flash ROMs. Tsukumo speculates that some daring customers might be able to re-flash the ROMs to modify the i-SOBOTs sounds and other functionality. The follow-on production lots will switch to non-flash ROMS."
Note: reprogramming an i-SOBOT entails opening and disassembling him in away that is not for anyone who isn't a complete expert, and also doesn't mind risking the destruction of their unit. Even if the hack works, it's guaranteed your warranty will be voided.

I love the idea of hack like this but I personally won't attempt this. If I break him, who will operate my Chumby computer (see video below)?

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