Meet Sparky, the DIY Mac mini telepresence robot

When robot builders try to put a human face on their creations, the results usually range between mildly creepy and downright disturbing. Sparky, the Self Portrait Artifact Roving Chassis, dodges that problem entirely by displaying the face of a real, live person on an Erector- and bungee-mounted LCD, creating a package that's far more charming than iRobot's ConnectR. Based on a Mac mini, the bot uses Skype for the video and chat, with a plugin enabling the disembodied head to steer the thing about the room, tossing out Max Headroom quotes all the while. A short vid below gives the basics of how to bolt one of these together, while full instructions are at the read link. We just wish they could teach us how to build ourselves a charming smile like that.