Advances in robotics in recent times have led to some quite remarkable discoveries and inventions that are set to benefit humankind.
Venture capital investment in the area of robotics increased by more than 100pc in 2015, with developments including Google developing dexterous robots with a hive mind and advances in the area of soft robotics opening up all kinds of opportunities.
3D printing, in particular, has made the world of innovation, making and robotics increasingly accessible for the wider public, which has led to some of the amazing innovations mentioned above, but then has also led to some dude producing a creepy Scarlett Johansson lookalike robot.
Rick Ma, a 42-year-old designer based in Hong Kong, reportedly spent $50,000 and a year-and-a-half building the humanoid robot, which he calls Mark 1.
He admitted to Reuters that the robot is modelled after a Hollywood star but didn’t reveal which one (seriously, though, look at it).
About 70pc of the bot’s body was produced using 3D-printing technology, with Ma producing the whole thing in his own apartment.
Mark 1 responds to a programmed set of verbal commands spoken into a microphone. For example, when you tell it that it’s beautiful the bot smiles, giggles and raises its eyebrows.
Apart from being a bit creepy, creating a robot like this, which bears a resemblance to a real person, also raises questions about whether or not Johansson, or anyone else on whom a robot is clearly based, has a right to take legal action to protect their image etc.
That is just one of many questions raised by a future that is set to be increasingly influenced by developments, both the odd and the wonderful, in this area.
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Scarlett Johansson image via Shutterstock