For the past 30 years, a Chinese simpleton has been building robots from scavenged materials.
Uneducated farmer Wu Yulu, 46, spent several years assembling his first robot, a simple machine that Wu designed to “walk like a man.” Wu’s robot, incapable of lifting its legs, could only shuffle awkwardly.
Wu’s robot friends have become much more advanced over the years and are now able to perform important tasks on the farm such as lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments, writing poetry and scaling walls.
Spending two-thirds of his monthly income on robots, Wu has burdened his family with debt. In danger of losing his Beijing-area home, Wu was forced to sell some of his precious robots, a last resort for someone who refers to his robots as his “sons.”
Wu has named all of the robots after himself and assigned each robot a number based on order of creation. His current robot family is comprised of Wu1 to Wu26.
“They are all my sons,” says Wu. “So they must bear my surname.”