open furbyOpen Furby

We get a lot of emails from public relations folks at Tech Insider. But one stood out today: a pitch from a group of roboticists in Poland working to turn the Hasbro toy Furby into an open-source robot for tinkering. That means anyone with a little coding knowledge can program a Furby to do and say basically anything. (We posted some examples below.)

Open FurbyOpen Furby

Here's how the Open Furby Project describes their mission on their Facebook page:

The establishment and maintenance of the robot-human communication, both verbal and non-verbal, depend essentially on capabilities of naturally and plausibly showing emotions by generating facial expressions by the robot.

FURBY toy manufactured by Hasbro Inc. has a friendly appearance with outstanding capabilities in such price segment. Unfortunately, manufacturer does not provide for the possibility of using its product as a HRI (human-robot interaction) research platform. There is no possibility of full behaviour control. Our goal is to modify current version of FURBY and equipped him in a custom controller that allows to control him form PC.

Creepy as we find the Furby, this is actually a pretty cool idea. A number of short videos on youtube demonstrate the open Furby's potential capabilities.

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