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Chinese Dude Made a Robot Roommate

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D.I.Y. robot maker Tao Xiangli churns out incredible creations. Bless him.

Tao, in his late 30s, first became famous online in China in 2008 with his homemade submarine. Tao had created a working submarine from scrap metal. Most recently, Tao revealed a homemade robot that he started working on in 2010.

As noted by Vice, Tao's tale is an interesting: Growing up in a poor family with three other siblings in a developing area in Anhui province, Tao didn't have the best access to education. Having only attended elementary school, Tao claims that he didn't even finish fifth grade.


His current project, a robot, is made up of various spare scraps and parts that he collected. Standing close to two meters tall and about 90-cm wide, the robot cost Tao over $1,600 to build. His bot is held together completely with screws—there is no welding, and the hands even have pressure sensors to adjust the grips.


Living in the remnants of old Beijing, Tao laments the problems he's faced when building his robot, citing that society doesn't understand what he's doing. Building his inventions has left Tao feeling both accomplished and lonely. He's happy that he's able to build something out of nothing but at the same time because no one understands what he's doing, he feels lonely. His work requires money and energy and he's also got to make a living. However, because of his passion in inventing, he says he's not ready or able to bring his wife and two year-old child to live with him in the nation's capital.

Tao says he perseveres because he wants to make his dream of inventing come true. He wants to create something to give others different ideas and be recognized for completing something. He says he wants to inspire people with his own story, that someone with only a fifth grade education can create something out of nothing through hard work.

This Elementary School Dropout Built a Robot Roommate [YouTube via Vice]
Photos: Xinhua


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Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie.