42 year-old Hong Kong product and graphic designer Ricky Ma has spent £34,000 building a life-sized AI robot that bears a striking resemblance to actress Scarlett Johansson.
Naming the female prototype robot, Mark 1, Ricky spent a year and a half developing her on the balcony of his home.
As reported on Reuters, the designer confirmed that the robot is indeed modelled after a Hollywood star, but wants to keep her name to himself for now.
On top of moving its arms and legs, turning its head and bowing, when the robot is told that it is beautiful, Mark 1 smiles and replies “hehe, thank you.”
Approximately 70% of the robot’s body was created using 3D printing technology; a 3D-printed skeleton lies beneath Mark 1’s silicone skin, covering its mechanical and electronic interior.
“When I was a child, I liked robots,” Ricky said. “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?’ 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.”
The process was a difficult one, with Ricky adopting a trial and error method. “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.”
Ricky believes the importance of robots will grow and hopes an investor will buy his prototype so that he can build more robots and write a book about how he did it.