Meet Sparky, MetroCard Man's trusty robot sidekick! MetroCard Man (a.k.a. Gregory Rodolico) has been a fixture at the NYC Maker Faire for several years now, but this was the first time we saw him with his new robo-dog friend. Sparky and all of Rodolico's other animatronic creations are hand-wired and built from found electronics like old radios, vacuums and even X-ray machines.
Despite his retro appearance, Sparky’s motions are quite fluid, and he delighted fair-goers young and old by zipping up to them on his wheeled legs and wagging his antenna tail back and forth rapidly. MetroCard Man was never far behind (you can see his card-clad leg in the background of the pic above), and managed to control the robotic pooch remotely while posing for photos with passersby.
Rodolico, a native New Yorker, has been tinkering and building since the age of 10, and his special skillset has landed him gigs doing special effects for films and TV. We were a bit bummed to see that Rodolico’s famous Singing Robot was not in attendance this year, but were quickly mollified after meeting Sparky. MetroCard Man and Sparky have quite the following in the makersphere, and have even been immortalized in the MakerBot Thingiverse.