Meet Laurel, a five foot robot made from staplers, aerosol sprays, cake tin, lights etc.
Have you ever met someone and just thought to yourself, ‘Man! Some people are just too creative!’ I met such a person recently and I was just awed by what he does. Basically, he builds robots out of waste. I have never seen robots up close and personal. Sure i have seen robotic toys but not one which is 5 foot high! Check out the photos below to understand where I am coming from. David Asomaning is what I call a reverse engineer. If you don’t know what reverse engineering is… its basically taking something already created apart and recreating something else out of it. I didn’t check the dictionary.
I had the opportunity to interview this amazing Holy Spirit filled young man on his project/hobby/ skill/#startup.
Q – Start from the beginning
David- In the beginning, I had to build my own toys as a kid but this was because I was always destroying (pulling apart) the ones my parents bought and finally refused to buy. I was naturally curious as to how my toys were built. My friends would laugh at me and call me ‘Toy Boy’ which though may have been mockery was more of praise to me. I later discovered I could draw pretty well and I became inspired by the cartoon characters in some comic strips most especially from Transformers. This ability I have is a God-given gift and everytime I get an inspiration I work on it immediately.
David’s pen drawings from way back.
Q- So what are these called?
David– ScrapBots. These are robots made from scrap or waste. Not food waste though. I put togther all kinds of items from aerosol sprays, table legs, cutlery, watches, christmas lights, battries, pen tops, ironing heads, cake tins, keys, shoes, chair legs, etc and get a robot out them.
(I take a closer look at the ScrapBots and realise that he is right! )
Do you see the cake tin?
Q- How do you cope with the stress of school and building robots?
David – hmm.. well I am doing pretty fine with that. I actually was the top overall Diploma student passing with Distinction at the Ghana Telecomm University which is where I am currently completing my final year. So books and me are cool like that.
Q- What does the future look like?
David- After school the plan is to enter into the telecommunications industry and amass funds to support my project.
Q- What plans do you have for your ScrapBots?
David- I actually went on intership with a Ghanaian robotics company and through that I developed my skills and knowledge in the programming of the ScrapBots (to make them move and do stuff like pound fufu) We have future plans for a TV show for kids to build their interest in robotics technology and currently a summer camp at the Ghana House is often organised for kids to also build their interest in robotics. There is a long term plan to build a High School specializing only in technology.
Q- Have you faced any challenges?
David- Well, I have tremendous support from my parents and that’s what really matters. People find it difficult to accept that i built these robots. One time I posted a photo of one of the scrapbots onto some forum and people wouldn’t believe this was made by a Ghanaian or an African. Maybe they think nothing of the sort can come from Africa. Smh. Or maybe Africa is looking threatening to them. The micro-proceesors which enable the robots to move unfortunately are imported from the United States which is pretty expensive and hard to find. Its also tough getting double of certain parts.
Here is where I stopped to make sure that my gadgets hadnt been reversed engineered.
Q- Who inspires you?
David – God first then, Tony Sparks of Iron Man.
Q- Seriously? Jeez, I cant stand that character.
David- Yeah, a bit arrogant but don’t forget he survived by building a battery for his heart which tells me I can survive anything when I put aside my fears and work with whats around me.
Q- Bruce Lee, Bruce Wilis, Chuck Norris?
David – Bruce Willis is a tough guy. Bruce Lee is too fake. Who is Chuck Norris?
Q- Thank you so much David! This has been enlightening! Not only are you creating a unique niche but you are also helping to reduce landfill waste in Ghana. Good job!
David- Thank you for your time!
The thingy tried taking my camera!
I am thinking of Clash of Titans. Do you see the watch?
that has to be spoon on the birds tail or butt?
some bird from Jurassic Park me thinks!
Check out David’s work in the gallery below. If you want to contact David for further enquiries or support, you can
or call him on 0207477518.
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