Hong Kong Man 3D Prints Life-Like Working Robot
Wednesday December 28, 2016
Ricky Ma, a graphic designer from Hong Kong, fulfilled a lifelong dream to create a working robot.
Over 70% of the parts within this cybernetic life form were created by another mechanical marvel: a 3D printer!
Named the Mark 1, this work of modern engineering took 1.5 years to create and cost Ma over $50,000 in components and materials. Ma’s creation has silicone skin that covers its entire 3D printed skeleton, and has command of some impressive motor functions too.
The Mark 1 can respond to a number of verbal commands, has preset responses built in, and can even complete complex body movements like smirks, head turns, limb movements, bows, and winks.
Ma said he would like to sell his prototype so that he can continue to build robots, and write his memoirs on the entire experience!
Not the First of Its Kind, but Close
Though the Mark 1 and its 3D printed components are impressive, there have been other forays into the world of celebrity robot look-alikes as well. “YangYang” is another such automaton that was created jointly by Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University in Japan and Shanghai Shenqing Industry in China.
Possessing an eerie resemblance to former U.S. presidential candidate Sarah Palin, YangYang also has the ability to execute complex body movements, speak, and even sing. At present, “she” possesses the most varied features of any robot in the industry, and can be used in a variety of facets from retail greeter to educational ambassador.
A Bold New 3D Printed Workforce
Not surprisingly, robots in the workplace is part of a growing trend. In fact, many experts at the U.S. Census Bureau predict that robots could be replace humans in over 5 million jobs by the year 2020. And, The World Economic Forum also predicts a “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” that would include an unheard of spike in fields like genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and biotechnology; fueling a new robotic renaissance that could open new avenues we never knew were there.