Film buff spends £20,000 on making Short Circuit robot and takes it down the pub

Ryan Howard, 34, has spent six years making a fully functioning replica of Johnny 5 (Picture: SWNS)

A cult film fan has spent six years building a fully functioning robot from the film Short Circuit and it does ‘pretty much anything’ he wants it to.

Ryan Howard, 34, has spent more than £20,000 making the android, called Johnny 5, which is from the 1986 movie.

The plot of Short Circuit sees an experimental military robot struck by lightning, when it gains human-like intelligence and escapes its facility to learn more about the world.

Ryan, an Open University engineering student who lives in Annesley, Nottinghamshire, said people have seen their ‘childhoods brought to life’ upon seeing Johnny 5.

He added: ‘The reactions are crazy. We’ve had people crying and tearing up as they walk by him.

‘I’ve never done anything like it before and I’m very proud of him as it was an incredibly difficult thing to achieve.

‘He lives with us and is part of the family now. I even talk to him. The kids love it and my wife’s done very well to put up with me, to be honest.

He has spent more than £20,000 making the android, which enjoys trips to the pub (Picture: SWNS)

People have seen their ‘childhoods brought to life’ upon seeing Johnny 5 (Picture: SWNS)

The dad said his 6ft tall robot is ‘99% true’ to the original (Picture: SWNS)

‘We had no intention of him being able to do all these amazing things. He was just going to be a model in the corner of my room.

‘But now I can program him to do pretty much anything. It’s full-sized working replica with motors and everything and I can control it using my phone and laptop.

‘Even when I was building him and he was standing in front of me for the first time and I was like, “Oh my god, it’s Johnny 5.”

‘It brought the inner child out in me.’

The dad-of-two thinks his 31 stone (200kg) and 6ft tall robot is ‘99% true’ to the original and said it is one of just two fully operational Johnny 5’s in the world.

Ryan and his family have travelled the country taking Johnny 5 to events (Picture: SWNS)

The clever replica has even brought some people to tears (Picture: SWNS)

The replica, made mainly from aluminium, can be programmed to talk, sing and dance – and Ryan even took it to the pub with him.

He even moved into a bigger house once the machine, made up of 10,000 parts, became too big for the family home.

Ryan added: ‘I was always a massive fan of the movie as a child. I had it on VHS which I think I watched until the tape no longer worked.

‘During school I didn’t do too well but I knew I had a brain in there. I went on to be a mechanic and then a forklift engineer and I just began teaching myself engineering in more depth.

‘I decided I’d have a go at building a replica model of Johnny 5’s head in 2018 when I got a 3D printer.

‘It was mainly out of plastic and he was struggling to support himself due to the weight, so I wanted to take it to the next level.

Ryan said making the robot ‘brought the inner child out in me’ (Picture: SWNS)

The machine is made up of 10,000 parts (Picture: SWNS)

‘I just thought, “I can’t stop here, I’ve got to do the whole thing.”

‘So I went the whole shebang, bought all the equipment and I’ve made every piece myself out of metal.

‘It became a bit of obsession. I wanted to build the original Johnny 5 from the film and have him fully functioning.

‘The pandemic hit and that gave me time to escape to my garage and really get stuck it into it.

‘I replaced the plastic with aluminium and steel. During lockdown I would sometimes spend 12 hours in the garage.’

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Ryan and his wife Stacey, 39 and a teaching assistant, and sons Ewan, 10, and Ben, 7, have toured events across the country with Johnny 5 – and soon, the world.

He added: ‘We’ve done weddings, conventions, charity events, festivals and school talks to encourage children into engineering and other Stem subjects.

‘We’re just really normal people but Johnny has opened up an extraordinary life for us.

‘We’re due to fly to Texas in three weeks time for an event there – we thought it was a prank at first when they got in touch.

‘Me and my dad always said we’d take him down the pub. We thought it would be funny and put a smile on customers faces.

‘Our local was really excited about having us. Everybody just seems to love him.’

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