Chinese farmer builds 'bot to lug him around, loves it a bit too much

A Chinese farmer by the name of Wu Yulu travels around his hometown exclusively by rickshaw — and one pulled by a robot, no less. It's his own creation that he calls the "30 Second Son" for its operating time. Yulu controls it with a steering wheel, and it even talks, saying, "I'm a rickshaw-pulling robot. Wu Yulu is my Dad, I take him out about town."

As for Wu Yulu, this sentiment is mutual for the farm-bot: "I love my robots more dearly than my own sons." I guess his sons weren't too keen on pulling a rickshaw day and night.

Wu Yulu's inventions have created some woes for him in the past: he burned down his house once and was driven into severe debt because of it, has had battery acid spilled on him, and his wife even demanded a divorce (she's back, though). Now, however, media attention is turning those Doc Brown frowns upside down, winning Yulu awards and garnering him attention from universities for his research. Check out a Reuters video interview with the inventor by clicking Continue.

Reuters, via Loving the Machine