Vietnamese Talents
Robotic innovation inspires youth
  • | Dat Viet, dtinews | January 04, 2011 04:01 PM

A high school student has created a robot that is turning heads with its ability to spray pesticides, pick fruit and water plants.

Hoa tinkers with his robot
At rest the robot looks like a strange car

The robot, built by Nguyen Van Hoa of Bac Giang Province, won him a prize from the 6th National Creative Competition for Youth and Children 2010.

The secret to success

After learning of the contest in 2007, Hoa came up with an idea but was unsure of where to start.

“After coming home from school, Hoa started rummaging through tools and other things. We were very surprised, and we thought he might have had some kind of problem. Only after asking him several times what he was doing did he tell us he wanted to make a robot,” shared Hoa’s father, Nguyen Van Thu.

After three months, Hoa completed his first prototype, shocking the entire family. He built his first machine just for fun, with no intention of participating in the contest, however, word of the achievement quickly traveled to his school and teachers began to encourage him to enter the competition. The result was first prize at the provincial level, and a consolation prize in the national contest.

After this, Hoa started collecting broken tools and appliances such as fans and radios. In 2008, he entered the national competition for a second time, this time taking home the second place prize.

When he finished the 11th grade, Hoa traveled to Bac Ninh Province to buy old discarded tools and other things not available to him at home. He used these welcomed items to build a new robot in just 15 days. The reward of his labour this time was the Special Prize in the National Creative Contest 2010. His work was also displayed at an international exhibition.

The robot is about 1 metre in height when turned on and has a somewhat human shape which includes a head, arms, and legs; all of which all move with agility. The power source is a 12 volt battery.

“I’ve seen my mother and father spray pesticides in the rice paddies and maize fields all my life. I’ve watched them grow weaker, but did not know how to help them,” Hoa said when asked about his reasons for designing the machine.

Despite his prize, Hoa is not ready to stop creating, “If I have time, I would like to make a newer version with lamps and fans fitted to the arms so it can work at night.”

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