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Q. How can I make an android out of spare parts?

A. Well, that all depends on a few things. First of all, what do you mean by android? Most people consider an android to be any robot made to resemble a human, but others consider an android only to be a robot made to resemble a male human. The term for a robot built specifically to resemble a human female is gynoid. A robot that is made to otherwise resemble a human, but that is genderless, would be an androgynoid. The opposite of an androgynoid– a robot made to resemble both man and woman– would, of course, be a hermaphrodroid.

Ahem. But back to androids. Some would stretch the definition of android to encompass any artificial human, even classifying Frankenstein’s monster as an android. By this definition, then, building an android from spare parts is as easy as a midnight visit to the neighborhood morgue. The proper application of 1.21 gigawatts to the android-to-be is left as an exercise for the reader. Should thunderstorms be rare in your area, or if your stomach gets queasy over the thought of desecrating corpses, you may be advised to consider building a purely mechanical android. (You may also wish to consider hiring a hunchbacked minion to do your desecration for you.)

Anyway, the important question is what spare parts are available. I assume you have stiff wire, bicycle cable, scrap wood, screws, springs, hinges, motors or solenoids of some sort, sculpting clay, polystyrene for vacuum-forming, a vacuum-forming rig, and silicone, urethane, or something similar to mold into the android’s features. I suppose you could just substitute papier-mache for the last few items, but the resulting android won’t fool anybody except the birds. So, having gathered your materials, follow these easy steps to build your own electronic replicant.

  1. Build a skeleton from the scrap wood, springs and hinges.
  2. Attach the motors and bicycle cables in such a way as to animate the skeleton to your liking.
  3. Use the sculpting clay to artistically make models of the android’s desired facial features, hands, feet, etc.
  4. Use the vacuum-forming rig to make a polystyrene mold of each clay model.
  5. Mold each android part in silicone, urethane, gelatin or whatever medium you have chosen. Try and save the molds in case you decide to begin mass production.
  6. Attach the molded parts to the android. The stiff wire may be useful to lend support to the molded material.
  7. Throw the switch.
  8. Either blame your hunchbacked minion for yet another failure, or gloat and cackle maniacally.
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