Robot Skeleton Sidekick

Craig Ferguson's new slick talking sidekick uses the MP3 Trigger and Rebel LED's

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You may have heard Craig Ferguson, a late night talk show host, is scheming to create an army of Twitter followers (aka, his Skeleton Army). From the Mythbusters site:

In late February, Ferguson publicly joined Twitter using his MythBusters-covered iPhone. Shortly afterward, Ferguson, who nicknamed his Twitter followers the "Robot Skeleton Army," joked on air that he needed a sidekick — but not just any sidekick, a Robot Skeleton Sidekick. Grant, an animatronics engineer, heard Craig's call and tweeted: "@CraigyFerg I hear you are looking for a robot sidekick. I think I can help ... for a price: Get me 100,000 followers. If you can." Ferguson immediately followed with: "Roboskels. Urgent! I need you to follow @grantimahara. For 100k followers he'll build a roboskeleton sidekick. Advance my rattly cyborgs!"

Craigyferg is now sitting around 176,000 followers and the Robot Skeleton was born...

When Grant called us asking about the MP3 Trigger board, we started putting things together. And ever since I've had engineers and IT geeks in my office asking if we really had parts in the Robot Skeleton sidekick. There's a ton of published materials online, but nothing that shows the electronics. A quick email later and Grant was kind enough to send us some pictures of the internals of his Robot Skeleton. Thanks Grant!

I solder on powered electronics all the time! Don't you? Oh those fancy prepared photo shoots.

Clean work! Grant certainly knows what he's doing in the world of fabrication. From left to right: Basic Stamp, Parallax's serial servo controller, a servo receiver, and the MP3 Trigger.

Robot eyes with blue and white Rebel LEDs.

Thanks again Grant! And great idea Craig! You've got one more CraigyFerg follower.

Update - as requested, here is a short video of the robot in action (ignore the intro with the cat speaking in Spanish!):

Comments 18 comments

  • Asuraku / about 12 years ago / 2

    K'mon Grant, parallax? Get a real �C.

  • eewestcoaster / about 12 years ago / 2

    Sparkfun and Mythbusters sittin' in a tree...
    Way to go, Grant!

  • numinit / about 12 years ago / 2

    That's definitely something a Mythbuster would do. Nice addition of SparkFun products, Grant sure knows what he's doing.

  • cjh08052 / about 12 years ago / 2

    Thanks for posting the video. I'm in awe at what can be done with a few chips, some wire and, a soldering iron!
    Thank you guys @ SparkFun for inspiring the rest of us and helping us along the way!
    ;-> (cjh)

  • cjh08052 / about 12 years ago / 2

    That's great! Not to be too picky, but how about a short video of this thing in action?
    ;-> (cjh)

  • flash / about 12 years ago / 1

    Don?t get me wrong, I love Mythbusters and Grant is fantastic but? In the Halloween community that animatronics was preschool. We make nod tilt and rotate talking skulls with 2 axis eyes. I myself have a crude 1st phase model on YouTube under Uncle Buck sings Rob Zombie. I AM NOT SAYING I AM BETTER but he could have done better.

  • razor_sparks / about 12 years ago / 1

    ...and that is AWESOME regardless :D

  • razor_sparks / about 12 years ago / 1

    In the triangle of CHEAP-FAST-GOOD, if you stick to fast and cheap, your hardware options are pretty limited, so go with what works. He had a self-imposed deadline, and I'm sure Jayme put a damper on his budget :P so... it is what it is!

  • Chupas / about 12 years ago / 1

    <b><a href="/commerce//account.php?id=92497">Asuraku</a>:</b> <i>K'mon Grant, parallax? Get a real �C.</i>

    Ha! i agree! Did you ever see that "Prototype this" show on discovery? All they used were basic stamps. I guess it gets the job done...

  • terrabite3 / about 12 years ago / 1

    If he knows what he's doing, why is he using a Basic Stamp?

  • Shadyman / about 12 years ago / 1

    Cool stuff! :D Neat to see some Sparkfun guts in there :)

  • CowboyBob / about 12 years ago / 1

    Anyone know where to find those oversized servos that they use on Mythbusters and in this skeleton?

    • CowboyBob / about 12 years ago / 1

      Thanks everyone for the servo info!

    • Tekati / about 12 years ago / 1

      Seiko UAV Servo PS-050 have 1800 oz torque and are under $200.00 US they are used in over 40% scale size airplanes and should hold up to some serious abuse.

      • Tekati / about 12 years ago / 1

        Actually upon further review of the Robot materials it is a Seiko SSPS-105 which has about 5000 oz-in of torque and goes for around 520.00 US. Major overkill for this application but hey its Mythbuster's so...
        Go big or go home!

    • Maha / about 12 years ago / 1

      Found a supplier, but they are very expensive.

    • NXTreme / about 12 years ago / 1

      I don't know what kind of servos they use but I imagine the servos used in this robot would work for most of your heavy duty needs. I think that they are the RX-64 servos.

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