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Robot Man to Expo!

Tucked away in a village on the outskirts of Beijing, farmer and inventor Lao Wu has been working sleepless nights in his workshop, tweaking a new fleet of robots bound for the Shanghai World Expo. “They ordered robots that can write characters, paint pictures and jump off buildings,” Lao Wu explains—so he is delivering. For […]

05·05·2010

Robot Man to Expo!

Tucked away in a village on the outskirts of Beijing, farmer and inventor Lao Wu has been working sleepless nights in his workshop, tweaking a new fleet of robots bound for the Shanghai World Expo. “They ordered robots that can write characters, paint pictures and jump off buildings,” Lao Wu explains—so he is delivering. For […]

05·05·2010

Tucked away in a village on the outskirts of Beijing, farmer and inventor Lao Wu has been working sleepless nights in his workshop, tweaking a new fleet of robots bound for the Shanghai World Expo. “They ordered robots that can write characters, paint pictures and jump off buildings,” Lao Wu explains—so he is delivering. For Lao Wu, this is a dream come true.

He might look like a simple peasant with no formal education, but Lao Wu has revealed himself to be a genius when it comes to robot-building. His high-tech work surpasses even that of studious grad students, and rights to his designs have been purchased by technological institutions across China. These robots can walk, pull trailers, light cigarettes and even scrub your back while you sit in the bath.

The middle-aged farmer is obsessed. “When you think of peasants, you expect them to be working the land, but my land is no good. It put me in debt, but I keep borrowing more money for my inventions!” Having survived robot-related explosions, a burned-down house and an irate wife, the wacky inventor perseveres. “We peasants have a saying: ‘one strand of muscle to the end,’ ” he says. Now we know that this proverb doesn’t just apply to farm work—but to robot-building too!

These robots may be bound for the Shanghai World Expo, a world of glitz and glamour. But Lao Wu will never forget where he comes from. “I represent the peasants of China,” he says proudly. – N.R.

Tucked away in a village on the outskirts of Beijing, farmer and inventor Lao Wu has been working sleepless nights in his workshop, tweaking a new fleet of robots bound for the Shanghai World Expo. “They ordered robots that can write characters, paint pictures and jump off buildings,” Lao Wu explains—so he is delivering. For Lao Wu, this is a dream come true. He might look like a simple peasant with no formal education, but Lao Wu has revealed himself to be a genius when it comes to robot-building. His high-tech work surpasses even that of studious grad students, and rights to his designs have been purchased by technological institutions across China. These robots can walk, pull trailers, light cigarettes and even scrub your back while you sit in the bath.

The middle-aged farmer is obsessed. “When you think of peasants, you expect them to be working the land, but my land is no good. It put me in debt, but I keep borrowing more money for my inventions!” Having survived robot-related explosions, a burned-down house and an irate wife, the wacky inventor perseveres. “We peasants have a saying: ‘one strand of muscle to the end,’ ” he says. Now we know that this proverb doesn’t just apply to farm work—but to robot-building too!??These robots may be bound for the Shanghai World Expo, a world of glitz and glamour. But Lao Wu will never forget where he comes from. “I represent the peasants of China,” he says proudly.