Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may remember the Buffybot from ‘Intervention’ (B:TvS S5E18). The lifelike robotic creation of the misogynist Warren, the Buffybot was created for Spike because he…I wouldn’t say he loved Buffy (though he thought he did at the time)…perhaps ‘infatuated’ is the right term? ‘Lusted’, even. That’s probably more accurate, because for Spike, the Buffybot was a fuck machine. And that’s one big reason the robot was creepy to me. The idea of a man creating a robotic facsimile of a woman he desires takes objectification to a new level. From street harassment to sexual assault to sex trafficking, women around the world are accustomed to men viewing them as objects. Not as human beings, but as objects to be bought. Objects to be sold. Objects to be traded. Objects to own. But at least building an artificial creation that resembles an actual living human woman is something that only exists in fiction, right? Not any longer.
A 42-year-old Hong Kong man has made his own version of the Buffybot. After spending nearly $50,000, product and graphic designer Ricky Ma has created a robotic woman. And not just any robotic woman. Noooooo, he wasn’t satisfied with creating a random female robot. He had to create a robotic Scarlet Johansson:
Ricky Ma, a 42-year-old product and graphic designer, has spent more than $50,000 (£34,000) and a year and a half creating the female robot prototype, Mark 1.
The designer confirmed the scarily lifelike humanoid had been modelled on a Hollywood star, but wanted to keep her name under wraps.
It responds to a set of programmed verbal commands spoken into a microphone and has moving facial expressions, but Ricky says creating it wasn’t easy.
“Look ma, I’ve created a woman that is programmed to respond to what I want!” Because that doesn’t betray any possible thinking on his part about what he wants out of women.
Ricky said: “When I was a child, I liked robots. Why? Because I liked watching animation. All children loved it. There were Transformers, cartoons about robots fighting each other and games about robots.
How do you go from “I want to create a robot” to “I want to create a lifelike facsimile of Scarlet Johansson?” That’s a pretty big jump. Why not create a robot turtle, chicken, or even a robotic Godzilla? Why create something *this* specific? Does someone have Scar Jo on the brain (tho, come to think of it, I wonder if ‘brain’ is the correct organ to be talking about)?
“After I grew up, I wanted to make one. 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’.”
Has a lot of money to blow. Chooses to recreate an existing human in robotic form. His own personal property, that will follow his commands and do as he pleases. Nope. Not creepy at all.
Besides movements of its arms and legs, turning its head and bowing, Ma’s robot, with blonde hair and hazel eyes can form detailed facial expressions.
If you watch the video, you’ll see some creepy-ass eye movements. Ma really wanted this robot to be as lifelike as possible.
“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 said.