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Man Builds A Robot Scarlett Johansson Because, Obviously.
Here's some breaking news in the realm of Earth's impending robot takeover. It seems that one Hong Kong robotics enthusiast has fulfilled his 'childhood dream' of designing a robot and his (probable) adult dream of being able to hit on Scarlett Johansson by creating Mark 1, his very first humanoid robot. Okay, so Ricky Ma, the man in question, will not flat-out admit that Mark 1 was designed to look like Scarlett Johansson, but he does say that he was 'inspired by a Hollywood actress' which is probably dodgy robotics dude speak for 'I made a Robo-ScarJo.' The entire project cost Ma roughly $51,000 to create the robot, who was made mostly of 3D-printed plastics, silicone, and various hardware. Mark 1 has the ability to talk, walk, and make natural facial expressions - including a smirk when you tell her she's pretty. Because, of course, he programmed her that way. Yo, Ricky, you might want to cool off on hitting on Artificial Life ScarJo. (We've all seen 'Her'. We know how that'll end.) But anyway... Ma intends to sell the prototype to a major investor and help develop more and more versions of Mark 1, a robot he sees as extremely useful as our technology capabilities only continue to evolve. Could you imagine a fleet of Robo-ScarJos built to help run our banks, medical offices, or even retail centers? How do you think Scarlett feels about this? Let me know what YOU think about Ricky Ma and his Robot Johansson below. And for more strange tech news, follow my Weird Science collection!
Virtual Reality Lets You Hang With Totoro
British VR developers FirePanda have been hard at work the last few years. While most of the anticipation surrounding Virtual Reality has been game-centric, there are other VR developers who understand that there might be people interested in VR, but not in the gaming aspects of it. FirePanda are using VR for larger goals than just games (though they do have a game or two as well). They've used VR as an educational tool, for medical students to get some virtual hands-on practice in a RESUS room. They've also now begun rolling out little VR experiences taken directly from the films of Studio Ghibli. Check out this VR video: If you don't have any kind of VR headset like myself, this is a hard video to watch properly. The VR displays a mirrored image onto both of your eyes, hence the two displays in the video. Without the headset, this is just a strange video. But iconic. Everyone who's an anime fan has seen Totoro, and even if you haven't, you'd be familiar with the rotund spirit. So far, they have VR-d scenes from My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. My personal favorite is the Howl's Moving Castle one, because the scene they picked is the fields outside of the house from Howl's childhood. That is definitively my favorite setting in the film, and the chance to experience it in VR is astounding to me. I don't have a VR headset yet, but if I ever get one, this is the first thing I'm gonna do. Check out all the anime VR stuff FirePanda has to offer here.
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