Some people show their appreciation of an actor or actress by watching their movies, or maybe using their image as wallpaper on their laptop or phone, or putting their poster up even. Other people build robots replicas of them that wink when they tell the bot they're cute. Whatever floats your creepy boat i guess?
The people, or person, falling into that latter category includes a 42-year-old man from Hong Kong. Ricky Ma spent 18 months and around $50,000 building a robot that looks just like Scarlett Johansson, although he won't actually name names as to who he modeled it on, which Ma has called Mark 1.
It's like something straight out of 'Ghost in the Shell' movie (released in March 2017) about a one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, which just happens to star Scarlett Johansson in the role of a cyborg policewoman hunting down cyberterrorists. Creepy.
Incredibly Ma built his robot on the balcony of his apartment. The Johansson-esque fembot responds to voice commands which are spoken into a microphone. If Ma tells the bot she's cute she responds by giggling and winking. Of it he tells the bot it's beautiful Mark 1 can smile and say thank you.
According to Reuters Ma taught himself the various complex fields required to build a robot from scratch. "I figured I should just do it when the timing is right and realise my dream. If I realise my dream, I will have no regrets in life," he told them.
The robot is made from a 3D printed skeleton, electronic motors and circuits, and a silicon skin covering it all. All of it put together by Ma. No matter how creepy the results might be, that is a very impressive accomplishment indeed.
"When you look at everything together, it was really difficult," said Ma. "When I started building it, I realised it would involve dynamics, electromechanics, and programming. I have never studied programming, how was I supposed to code? Additionally, I needed to build 3D models for all the parts inside the robot. Also, I had to make sure the robot's external skin and its internal parts could fit together."
Ma is now looking for an investor to help him fund building more robots, and might also write a book to guide other hobbyists through the tricky path of creating their own prototype bot.