“Johnny Five… is alive!” Despite both betraying my age and likely alienating half of my audience by using a quote from an obscure 80s robot movie, I can’t help but think that if this young man’s robot could speak, he’d immediately thank his lucky stars that his master breathed life into what was once little more than a pile of junk. You see, the two-metre-tall robot standing with his arm around ingenious inventor Tao Xiangli here was built at home using nothing more than parts salvaged from scrap.

“He’s ugly, but he’s kind of awesome,” remarks Tao, who is already known in the media for his far-flung home-made creations. “He can perform simple movements, of course, but he can also mimic human actions by using infrared rays.”

The robot’s body is absolutely covered with bare parts, wires and switches. Still lacking an outer “skin” casing, every movement the robot makes is accompanied by a sudden burst of energy and a dance of moving parts that displays just how much technical wizardry is required to make it all possible.

Tao built the robot in his cramped Beijing apartment, a world away from Nova Laboratories or the sterile white corridors of Skynet, by piecing together as many as 110 spare parts and some 3,000 lengths of cable. As well as the wiring ferrying power to his limbs, the robot’s body is covered with strips of bright neon cabling, making him look more like a Daft Punk-inspired robot than a killing machine from the future.

▼ All lit up, the robot wouldn’t look out of place on the dance floor.


▼ Each of the myriad switches on his back controls a different part of the robot’s body.


Weighing in at 225 kilos (496 lbs), this neon-lit behemoth could easily crush a man should he decide to turn on his creator and go on the rampage. But with the ability to pop a charming wink and strike a pose just a switch-flick away, something tells us that he’s far more likely to travel the globe lending a hand and making cameos on pre-watershed sitcoms. Welcome to earth, Mr. Robot. Stay funky.

Source: Xinhua