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Boy builds Robot from old TVs

The comments of this video are interesting to me for a variety of reasons.

Some express doubts about the video’s authenticity.

Even if it is a lie, why try to expose it?

Is showing yourself to be clever really worth ruining an attempt to improve the lives of children?

What part of a robot could not be found inside an old TV? The only thing I could think of is the actuators and related stuff. Granted, TV’s don’t have a lot of moving parts, but everything else does.

Others are just trolling, which is a strange thing in and of itself. It’s like the worst thing you can say in this society is a slur.

What’s funny about that to me is far worse things are said as serious and accepted.

Slurs in this context are almost cute by comparison.

In any case, this is a great video, and a great goal. This whole continent is full of people for who the concept of hard work is a foregone conclusion. Getting them into the information processing game could render their natural resources chump change by comparison nearly overnight.

All innovation is simply the recombination of old ideas, this young man has shown that something similar can be done at the physical level. He’s reordering parts we ignorantly consider refuse into a useful form and he’s just one person doing it by hand.

I see tremendous potential here. I think it would be wonderful and ironic if the continent that was so brutally savaged over want of slave labor gave birth to the next humanoid robotic revolution and did it with our leftover on their way to the economic top.

Fantasy maybe, but it would be awesome.

Updated: April 15, 2010 — 3:10 pm


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  1. > Even if it is a lie, why try to expose it?

    First of all, I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing and it’s extremely unlikely that he could build a robot out of old TV parts. There’s a certain minimum amount of supplies you need for this sort of thing (internet access, tools, electronics supplies, etc.) and without them you’ll get nowhere. It’s more likely that he just took an existing robot and covered it with cardboard. At least that’s my opinion. People who haven’t tried to build robots seem to think rigging together a robot is pretty plausible, which I can understand. But it’s not.

    I’m 100% behind trying to improve the lives of children in this region, especially by teaching them about science/engineering. What makes the video offensive is that it’s NOT a good example of what we should be teaching kids (how to scam rich people with shoddy robots). Let’s help them out, but not reward this behavior.

    1. “First of all”, I don’t care what kind of experience you have. And what the hell do you mean “this sort of thing” anyway? Sounding like an ass on the Internet? Well, let me say as an established muck raker let me say you certainly come across like a PHD on the subject.

      I don’t care if you build industrial robots for a living from memory, that does not qualify you to say what can and can’t be accomplished on the entire continent of Africa.

      I’ll ask you what I asked the morons on YouTube.

      Exactly what parts to build a small walking robot can’t be found in TVs? And that’s assuming a super strict interpretation based on unfortunate hyperbole.

      For all we know he simply included TV parts.

      We dump our electronics waste all over the world. Where do you think our warehouses full of obsolete electronics go? We sell them at a discount. And who buys them? Less rich countries. And not every country sells to just us either. China exports it’s gear EVERYWHERE.

      What is with people thinking all of Africa is a barren backward technological wasteland? Sure it’s got it’s bad spots, maybe even a super abundance of them, but not everywhere.

      There is simply no rational reason to categorically assert the impossibility of the premise of this video based on 3 minutes of video evidence. You want to talk about whats more likely, lets apply the razor.

      Which is more likely? A boy with ample time on his hands found a way to stitch together what is effectively a model that walks using VCR and TV parts scavenged from a continent nearly saturated with the runoff of western consumer culture, or that is it absolutely impossible to construct such a toy for anyone on the entire continent ever.

      You remind me of the morons that used to in all seriousness ask me how I managed to get on the Internet being from Kentucky. Like the whole state is nothing but a forested mountain camp full of toothless shine brewing yokels.

      News flash, Diversity Happens. You can be poor and still get to the Internet. Indeed the one laptop per child program caught flak because the kids were surfing pr0n sites. Just because the TV makes it look like owning a computer requires an SUV, 2.5 kids, and a dog, doesn’t mean that’s actually the case.

      Insulated Americans make me sick because your backwards loud mouth drivel is going to get me bombed. I’m frankly astonished at the patience of the world for not infecting us with something by now and collectively saying to whoever did it “we’ll let it slide this time.”

      Again, even if it is bogus, you have absolutely no way of proving it given the information at hand and all you’re doing is perpetuating a feeling of smug self satisfied indolence.

      Sure you pay lip service but obviously you’re about as enlightened as a klan meeting.

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