The Nabaztag is alive and kicking

On my birthday in 2009, I bought myself one of the first IoT consumer devices – a cute electronic rabbit, called the Nabaztag.

It was brilliant – it could rotate its ears, read out messages, tell the weather and air quality forecast, play music, “sniff“ and recognize RFID tags, blink lights, and even act on voice commands. I consider the Nabaztag to be the great-grandfather of Alexa and Cortana.

Unfortunately, the Nabaztag was too far ahead of its time. It often faced technical difficulties and the servers that powered it were finally shut down in 2011. Only after two years, it was reduced to collecting dust. So I put it back in its box and stored it in my basement.

The other day, I saw a Nabaztag on Instagram and learned, that some of the original creators built a replacement PCB to revive the Nabaztag. Obviously, I had to get one. I disassembled my Nabaztag, removed its yellowing, and put in the Raspberry Pi heart transplant.

The picture above is actually my 13-year-old rabbit, looking brand new, and running on open-source software. I am looking forward to see what the future has in store for it.