A Hong Kong man has fulfilled his childhood dream of building a robot after having completed work on a realistic, life-sized prototype modeled after a Hollywood star.
Product and graphic designer Ricky Ma watched cartoons about robots growing up and has dreamt about building his own ever since, reported Reuters.
“I figured I should just do it when the timing is right and realize my dream. If I realize my dream, I will have no regrets in life,” said Ma.
The female prototype robot he calls the Mark 1 took 1.5 years and more than $50,000 for the 42-year-old to construct. He had to master fields he had never studied before, like electromechanics and programming, to build the sophisticated robot, which he built from scratch on the balcony of his home.
“When you look at everything together, it was really difficult,” said Ma
He also modeled the Mark 1, which wears a long grey skirt and white cropped top, after a Hollywood star whose name he won’t reveal, although it bears more than a passing resemblance to Scarlett Johansson.
In addition to being able to bow, turn its head and move its arms and legs, the Mark 1 responds to programmed verbal commands.
When the compliment, “Mark 1, you are so beautiful,” is spoken into its microphone, its brows and eyes relax, and it smiles and responds, “Hehe, thank you.”
The Mark 1 has a skeleton produced by 3D printing technology, of which about 70 percent of its body was created using, and its skin is made of silicon.
Ma said he had no help building the robot, as he knew no one in the Chinese territory who built humanoid robots.
“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,’” Ma said.
He hopes an investor will invest in his robot so he can build more and said he wants to write a book about his robot-building journey to help others who may want to do the same.