It has made international headlines by 3D printing horseshoes, replacement bones and even a dragon, but the CSIRO has pushed the envelope further still with a new project that could one day allow lonely people to additively manufacture a partner.
A leaked memo from the research organisation has suggested a super-secretive, multi-disciplinary project on 3D printing synthetic – though very lifelike – human companions is well underway.
The project combines cutting-edge research into fields including artificial intelligence, biomedical 3D printing, mechatronics and material science.
It has been codenamed “Gary and Wyatt”, a nod to the two main characters in the 1985 John Hughes comedy Weird Science. The lead characters – unable to find girlfriends – decide to take matters into their own hands and create a beautiful woman (played by Kelly LeBrock) on Wyatt’s home computer.
“The operation throws up a lot of interesting questions in terms of bioethics, though displays significant commercial potential,” a leaked intra-office email reads.
The CSIRO refused to confirm details or to comment on the project, but the proposed companion androids are believed to include a titanium 3D printed skeleton created at the organisation’s Lab 22 facility using an Arcam EBM machine.
The makers of popular app Tinder were approached for comment on how the development might change the dating industry landscape, but did not reply before the 12 pm deadline, which coincided with the end of April Fools’ Day.