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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

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

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

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

  • 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)

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

  • 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.

  • …and that is AWESOME regardless :D

  • 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!

  • <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…

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

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

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

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