A Furby is an electronic toy made by Tiger Electronics. A newly purchased Furby starts out speaking entirely Furbish, the unique language that all Furbys use, but are programmed to speak less Furbish as they learn more English.

A Furby has various switches built in that detect if it is being stroked, patted or inverted. As well as a speaker in its belly there is also a small microphone which is how the Furby “hears”. Research suggests that it is unclear as to what sounds a Furby responds to other than generic loud noises. Built into its forehead is an infra-red sensor which transmits and receives data to and from other Furbies and it is via this that a Furby really communicates.

Various hacks have been made to Furbies from simple circuit bending to a complete replacement of the microprocessor. Most of them concentrate on the circuitry but I intend to make use of the IR sensor. By connecting two Furbies to a computer each, I want to make a small wireless network by sending data via the IR sensors. Keeping the main circuitry intact, I want to create the illusion that the Furbies are passing the data by “talking” to each other.

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