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Hong Kong man spends 1.5 years, $50K to build his own female robot

A 42-year-old product and graphic designer in Hong Kong spent a year and a half and more than $50,000 to build a female robot that’s meant to resemble a Hollywood actress whom he doesn’t want to name. (It’s Scarlett Johansson.) The crop-topped humanoid responds to a set of verbal commands and makes facial expressions.

Ricky Ma built the full-size robot, dubbed “Mark 1,” from scratch on his balcony, thus fulfilling a childhood dream, according to Reuters. “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.

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After overcoming challenges like burnt-out electric motors and his inexperience with electromechanics and programming, Ma has created Mark 1, which can move its limbs, turn its head, bow, smirk, and wink. It can also respond to a set of commands with responses or movements.

Mark 1 also has silicone skin covering a 3D-printed skeleton. In fact, about 70 percent of the humanoid’s body was made using 3D-printing technology, according to Reuters.

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Ma hopes someone will purchase his prototype so he can use the funds to build other robots. He also wants to write a book to benefit others who share his ambitions.