Henry Wolf sat hunched over a table last week, meticulously trying to dissect a plush stuffed pig.
“I’ve been playing with this for like 20 minutes now and the furthest I’ve gotten is getting the screws out,” he said.
His workspace at North Dakota State University was littered with tools, well past the time that classes had ended.
Wolf is a grad student in electrical engineering at NDSU. He was trying to expose the little pink pig’s circuit board, tucked away inside a plastic case that’s glued, sewed and zip-tied into its fluffy guts. He needed to hack the circuit that makes the pig’s tail move when a tiny switch on its foot is pressed.
“We’re basically bypassing that on/off switch,” he said. “The trick is kind of undoing what they did at the factory.”