Farmer builds robot army

A Chinese farmer fascinated by technology has built himself 26 robots over the past 30 years.

Wu Yulu with his favourite robot - Wu No.25 /Quirky China News

Wu Yulu, 46, who has only a basic school education, designs the robots himself and builds them from scrap materials.

"When I was 11, one day I was sitting on the doorstep, and while watching villagers passing by I suddenly came up with the idea of building a machine that walks like a man," he told the Beijing Times.

His first robot took several years to build and could only shuffle along in small steps as it could not raise its legs.

But his designs became more and more sophisticated, and he has built robots capable of climbing walls, serving water, lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments and writing calligraphy.

Wu, who lives near Beijing, sees all the robots as his sons, and names them according to the order in which they were invented, from Wu No.1 through to Wu No.26.

"They are all my sons, so they must bear my surname," he said.

Out of all of his mechanical 'sons', Wu says he loves Wu No.25, a robot which can pull a rickshaw, the best.

Each day, Wu No.25 pulls his inventor around the local area. It can walk for up to six hours on one battery charge.

Wu says he has to sell off some of his robot collection after plunging his family into debt by spending up to two-thirds of his monthly income on his obsession. [via ananova]

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