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Hong Kong man builds his own Scarlett Johansson in robot form

Scarlett Johansson
The real Scarlett Johansson.

Many of us like to have a DIY tech project on the go to tinker with in our spare time... a Raspberry Pi media centre perhaps. A self-built PC gaming rig. Or, you know, a life-size humanoid Scarlett Johansson to keep us company at home.

Reuters reports that 42-year-old Hong Kong robotics enthusiast Ricky Ma has spent 18 months and more than $50,000 (about £35,000) on the project. His 'Mark 1' robot prototype is built around 3D-printed parts and responds to verbal commands.

Ma says his love of robots stems from early childhood. "After I grew up, I wanted to make one," he told Reuters. "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'."

I, robot

Counting out the rather creepy resemblance to a certain Hollywood actress, the humanoid is actually an impressive feat of engineering. Its arms, legs, head and mouth can all move in response to commands - the robot can even wink at you.

"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," he explained to Reuters. Now Ma is looking for investor funding to develop a more sophisticated series of robots.

Ma hasn't actually confirmed the robot is designed to look like Scarlett Johansson - though he admits it is modelling on a certain Hollywood actress. Perhaps he was inspired by the recent Spike Jonze movie Her which gives Johansson a clever AI mind but no physical body.