Apr 1, 2016 | By Kira
In what is either the most impressive or downright creepy 3D printing project of the year, 42-year-old Ricky Ma has designed and built an extremely realistic 3D printed humanoid robot that looks (and moves) eerily like Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson.
Ma, a graphic and product designer from Hong Kong who had no previous experience in robotics, electronic engineering, or programming when he started, built the entire humanoid robot--which is 70% 3D printed--from scratch, spending more than $50,000 and a year and a half of his time for the simple sake of fulfilling his childhood dream.
The 3D printed female robot prototype is known simply as Mark 1, despite ‘her’ obvious semblance to the woman once ranked as Sexiest Woman Alive (Ma would only confirm that his design was based on “a famous Hollywood actress” but wouldn’t name Johansson specifically).
The Mark 1 is life-size, has strawberry blonde hair, and can respond to a set of pre-programmed verbal commands by talking and forming eerily realistic facial expressions—including raising her eyebrows, smiling coyly, and even winking. She can also move her arms, legs and fingers, turn her head and bow.
In technical terms, the humanoid robot consists of a 3D printed skeleton enveloped in silicone skin that hides her internal mechanics and gives her a very realistic humanoid look. Ma took the illusion even further by dressing her in a trendy crop top and skirt and realistic makeup that accentuates Scarlett—I mean the Mark 1’s—full lips, eyebrows, and hazel-colored eyes.
Whether you’re a fan or not, the end result is truly impressive, though Ma admits that it was no easy task. Though he grew up ‘obsessed’ with robots from movies and cartoons and dreamt of building his own one day, Ma never pursued any formal or technical training in robotic engineering. He also didn’t know of anyone in the robotics community in Hong Kong pursuing a similar goal.
Thus, when it came time to make his dream a reality and create a humanoid robot from scratch, Ma had to teach himself every technical skill in the book through a painful trial-and-error process. Electric motors burnt out, the Mark 1 continuously toppled over, yet Ma persisted, eventually mastering robotics, engineering, 3D modeling and 3D printing technology.
“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?’” said Ma. However, he refused to quit. “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.”
All images credit: REUTERS/BOBBY YIP
Currently, Ma is looking for investors to buy his $50,000 Scarlett Johansson look-a-like, so that he can have the capital to build even more. He also plans to write a book about his experience to encourage other robotic enthusiasts to pursue their dreams.
The Mark 1 3D printed female prototype robot is an incredible story of one man's unbreakable determination to fulfill his dream against all odds, using the latest 3D printing and advanced technologies. In fact, it has all the makings of a Hollywood hit. Scarlett Johansson herself is no stranger to science fiction: she’s starred as an AI construct in Her, a genetically-modified superhuman warrior in Lucy, and of course, as ass-kicking superhero Black Widow in The Avengers. Should Ma’s forthcoming book ever get a studio contract, this seems like a match made in Hollywood heaven.
Watch the video below to see Ricky Ma's 3D printed Mark 1 humanoid robot in action:
Scarlett Johansson as she looks in real life. Getty Images
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Duyee wrote at 5/10/2016 6:41:55 PM:
Those man hands make me want to run and hide
GitS wrote at 4/9/2016 12:08:23 AM:
This actress is in Ghost in the Shell and will release in 2017. A perfect timing and theme to be in it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/
Justin wrote at 4/4/2016 4:37:49 AM:
I Think I might pick up a copy of the Book when it comes out
Paucus wrote at 4/3/2016 5:18:57 PM:
congratulations, but very spooky using a real person... maybe Scarlett should buy it!
Ben wrote at 4/2/2016 6:38:14 AM:
Mal. Guy killed me, Mal. He killed me with a sword. How weird is that?
RobinLeech wrote at 4/2/2016 12:23:55 AM:
She is totally not that short. I wonder how much extra it would have cost to make her life-size.