This Scarlett Johansson Robot is the Creepiest Thing Ever

Interesting Engineering

Reuters/Bobby Yip[Image Source: Reuters/Bobby Yip]

The Mirror reports a 42 year-old man named Ricky Ma has built a $50,000 humanoid robot named Mark 1 from scratch. He's not revealing the name of the Hollywood actress it was modeled after, but one look at the robot immediately gives it away: Scarlett Johansson. I would be curious to find out what Scarlett Johansson herself thinks of this robot lookalike. If I was the real Scarlett Johansson, I imagine it would be hard to go to sleep at night, knowing that a robotic doppelganger sits or stands somewhere in Hong Kong, eyes never shutting. Equally disturbing would be the idea of this lookalike robot responding to Ma's incessant commands with a canned, programmed, "Hehe, thank you." The future, er, the present, just got that much creepier.

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Ricky Ma is a product and graphic designer and when he began building his robot, had no in-depth knowledge of coding, robotics or electromechanics. He taught himself everything about robot construction as he went along, which took about a year and a half. He admitted that it was incredibly difficult to build all the parts from scratch. Ma said,

"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.'"

He built Mark 1 in near total isolation and told Yip he didn't know anyone else who was currently building a robot in Hong Kong. He also told the Reuters journalist that few in his city understood his mission to build a robot. Ma admitted that he has been obsessed with building a robot since his childhood. He said he loved animation and cartoons as a child and never quite stopped loving them.

Ricky-Ma-and-lifelike-robot-4[Image Source: Reuters/Bobby Yip]

The humanoid robot's silicone skin covers a 3D printed skeleton and 70% of the body was created using 3D printing technology. Mark 1 responds to a set of a programmed verbal commands that Ma speaks into a microphone. The robot can perform simple movements with its arms and legs, can turn its head and bow as well. Additionally, Mark 1 can create highly detailed facial expressions.

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SEE ALSO: Apple Unveils Liam: The iPhone Eating Robot

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According to Reueters' photojournalist, Bobby Yip, who broke the story,

"In response to the compliment, 'Mark 1, you are so beautiful,' its brows and the muscles around its eyes relax, and the corners of its lips lift, creating a natural-seeming smile and it says, 'Hehe, thank you.'" -Rueters, Bobby Yip

See for yourself how much Mark 1 resembles Scarlett Johansson:

Ma said that building Mark 1 was a dream come true. In his own words, "If I realize my dream, I will have no regrets in life." He hopes an investor will buy his prototype, giving him resources to build more.

As we learn of more and more robots being built at a dizzying rate, are we becoming less and less shocked by the ramifications of seeking robotic life partners? A few questions I have for Ricky Ma: "Are you obsessed with Scarlet Johansson?" and "Do you have any relations with real human females?" This psychological territory was not probed, but it definitely arose in my mind as I learned about yet another creepy female, scantily-clad, humanoid robot.

Leah Stephens is a writer, artist, experimenter and founder of Into The Raw. Follow her on Twitter or Medium.

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