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.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.