Hong Kong man builds a ‘Scarlett Johansson’ robot from scratch to ‘fulfil a childhood dream’
A graphic designer based in Hong Kong has created a life-like replica of a famous Hollywood actress that winks and giggles when he tells her she’s cute.
Ricky Ma, 42, has spent more than $50,000 (£34,000) and a year and a half creating his female robot prototype, Mark 1. He admits it is modelled after a Hollywood star, but says he does not want to name her. However, the robot definitely has a passing resemblance to Avengers star Scarlett Johansson.
So, why did he decide to build a robot?
Ricky said: “When I was a child, I liked robots. Why? Because I liked watching animation. All children loved it. There were Transformers, cartoons about robots fighting each other and games about robots.
“After I grew up, I wanted to make one. But during this process, a lot of people would say things like, ‘Are you stupid? This takes a lot of money. Do you even know how to do it? It’s really hard’.”
‘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. When you look at everything together, it was really difficult, ‘he said.
For most of the robot’s body, Ma built the humanoid robot by depending on 3-D printing technology, and good old-fashioned trial-and-error methods when programming the robot to respond to verbal cues. Reuters reports, “Besides simple movements of its arms and legs, turning its head and bowing, Ma’s robot, which has dark blonde hair and liquid eyes, and wears a grey skirt and cropped top, can create detailed facial expressions.”
Ma programmed the robot to respond to a variety of commands and questions including “Are you happy?,“ “You are so beautiful,” ““I love you,” “You are so cute,” and “You are so smart.”
The robot is not for Ma to keep himself, the product designer claims. Instead, he hopes to sell it off to an investor and use the funds to build more humanoids. The designer did not provide more information whether or not future robots will also be designed in the obvious likeness of Hollywood actresses.
Also, Ricky has no regrets about the time or money he invested in Mark 1.
“I figured I should just do it when the timing is right and realize my dream,” Ma says, taking motivational posters everywhere for his own niche interest. “If I realize my dream, I will have no regrets in life.”