PR Project: November 2008

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Sparky - Telepresence Robot Lets You Work At Work In Your Undies

Telepresence robots pop up in different guises, including the Rovio (which lacks a screen to truly telepresence your image), but now there's this DIY project to follow to build your own. At core Sparky the robot has a Mac-Mini, motorized carriage and a Make controller board—though you can use an arduino—and some custom software that works around Skype. Buy the gear, or cobble together your own from spare odds and sods, and you too can work at work while simultaneously sprawling on your sofa in your undies. Like we do.

Sparky uses Skype as the foundation for the video chat, as well as some custom software (and source code) we provide for basic wheel-driving servo controls. You can customize this code to add functionality to your robot - including more servos, gripper arms and sensors& You are limited only by your imagination and ingenuity. 

Keep in mind that each robot will be different, so this guide is by no means complete instructions. Think of it as a starting point, a foundation upon which you design and build your own unique Sparky creation.

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