Fear Alexa with this macabre talking skull voice assistant

A robotic skull named Yorick pairs up with Amazon's Alexa assistant to create a whole new vision of voice-activated horror.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

"Alexa, will you haunt my nightmares?" The answer is a resounding "yes!" if you can combine a moving skull robot with Amazon's voice assistant.

YouTube user ViennaMike, a self-described aspiring roboticist, posted a video of exactly this creepy creation in early March. It was brought to our attention Monday by Mashable.

The infamous Alexa Billy Bass, a hack that combines Alexa with a fake flopping fish, inspired the skull version. ViennaMike posted instructions for doing your own version of the project using a three-axis talking skull robot (with moving eyes), powered speakers, Raspberry Pi, and AlexaPi software that turns the Raspberry Pi into an Alexa client.

ViennaMike named the bony abomination "Project Yorick" as a reference to the skull of a court jester in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

ViennaMike demonstrates the unholy creation by asking about the weather. Even if you think you're prepared for what you will see, it's still supremely unsettling to watch and listen as Alexa's bland voice emanates from a bug-eyed skull. That weather forecast should have come out as "clear skies and sun with a chance of biting your face off while you sleep."