This is a teardown of the Sharper Image Electronic Action Robo Battle Dragon. It drew my eye because it’s super rad but also has a nice cute factor. I also thought that it had much more cool features like sounds and the ability to battle other robots, but the only electronic things it does is walk and have a red light on its chest. Other than that it has a spring loaded mouth to hold things, segmented tail that swings while it walks and a head that turns slightly from side to side
Make sure our small friend is turned off. Remove screw then, battery cover and batteries from underside.
Remove two screws from cover on bottom of head, that will allow the jaw and spring to come off as well as the top of the head to pop off. Two screws on the underside of the top piece hold on the piece with the rubber teeth.
Find the two white plugs on the side and pop them out. Remove these two screws and pop the white cover off over the wings. You can also yank the arms out with a little bit of effort.
Remove the three screws from the tail. This should allow the tip and smallest segment to come out.
Pop the plug out on the side of the tail and remove that screw. Then remove any other screws from the side of the body. This will allow the other sections of the tail to come out. It will also release the neck portion and allow the body to split in half.
Notice in the center of the body where the leg is mounted. It has a boss that fits to the side of the motor. The motor provides a spinning motion to both legs and creates the walking action. We can remove the one screw within the boss and the leg will come out. Removing the rest of the screws on the leg allows it to split apart.
Remove the two screws at the base of the fin. Grab a pair of pliers and the pin that is part of the walking mechanism will come out easily.
Pull the electronic assembly out, we’ll analyze this later. This side of the body will come apart the same as the other. Note the two extra longer pins that hold the motor in place and be sure to pull those out too.
Examine the electronic assembly. This is where the grand disappointment is—no sound chips, no speakers, no sensors to allow it to actually fight other robots, just two AAAs, an LED wired in parallel with a motor, and a slide switch to control on/off.
I had high hopes for the Robo Battle Dragon, but it turned out to be much simpler than I thought. but two things I found interesting were:
- The tail. The method they used to segment the tail was pretty cool. I’ve never seen injection molded pieces used with a pin like that before to create a series of hinges.
- The white side panels. These were fairly cleverly constructed to hide a majority of the screw holes on the body. I was surprised that the two plugs covering the screws were only held in via a pressure fit and no adhesive was used. It’s interesting that they also used a series of clips along where the spine would be.