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article imageMan builds life-like robot, looks just like Scarlett Johansson

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 3, 2016 in Technology
A product and graphic designer has fulfilled what he said was a lifelong dream to build a human-like robot. And he didn't just build any robot, he built a replica of American movie star Scarlett Johansson.
Scarlett look-alike
Ricky Ma, 42, lives and works in Hong Kong and spent most of his free time over the past year-and-a-half, and about $50,000, building his comely robot. He's told media his 'Mark 1' robot is modeled on a Hollywood star without naming which one but given it looks identical to Johansson, it's obvious who the star was.
"When I was a child, I liked robots," Ma 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," he added. "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'."
His robot can move its arms and legs and turn its head and even has quite detailed facial expressions. Further, by speaking into a microphone you can get Mark 1 to respond to simple commands. And saying "Mark 1, you look so beautiful" gets you a slight smile and chuckle and a "thank you."
Learning curve
He said there was a very big learning curve for him and that he did not have much of the knowledge needed to pull it off. But it was trial and error, and study and effort, and he got the job done and learned lots along the way.
"When I started building it," Ma said. "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," he added. "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."
Having built the Scarlett Johansson look-alike robot he now hopes to sell it to get money to build more and keep learning about robots. He's also looking to write a book about the project in order to share the knowledge he gained with other robot enthusiasts.
No word on whether Ms. Johansson has heard of Ma's Mark 1. Will she be flattered? Frightened? Could there be a lawsuit coming Ma's way?
Ma has said nothing publicly about her or about the fact his robot looks just like her.
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