Junk bots win awards in Vietnam


In a national competition for creativeness in children, junk bots have reigned supreme. Pictured above is a detail from one of [Vu Van Thankg]‘s junk bots. Created entirely from parts pulled from the trash, this thing has 11 motors which supposedly allow full arm and hand control. We know you’ll be upset at how little information there is, but the pictures alone show so much. Just look at the rig he put together for this arm. If that isn’t inspiring, we don’t know what is.

[via BoingBoing]


  1. walt says:

    that’s an impressive junk bot!

  2. Godi says:

    Pure awesomeness!

  3. Oxin says:

    Cool but I wish there was more info. It looks like the controls are simply on/off switches for individual motors though. The cool factor is in the ingenuity, not the guts.

  4. samurai says:

    what a huge pile of win!

  5. Mic says:

    I applaud the way of the junk. Easy to find and environmentally responsible to re purpose. Good for the future of engineering in Vietnam!

  6. Mic says:

    Wow after checking the link, http://english.vietnamnet.vn/tech/2009/09/869993/ . I realized how intricate the whole machine is. Looks all manual control, however, the Hacked PlayStation controller and other controls are nothing short of epic. Overwhelmingly well done, Mr 19 year old, university inductee. Simplicity at it’s finest. Reminds me of older German machine tools, the controls, that is. “Pile of win”, indeed!

  7. jωt says:

    epic win indeed

  8. jimmys says:

    Nice job, Van! Extra points for the use of ‘squash soda’ container. Mmmmm.

  9. tr0nk says:

    what, no crab juice containers ?

    and, imagine what you could put together from garbage dumps in the states

  10. GSV Pinochet's digital négligé says:

    I think this kind of stuff will become even more interesting when computer vision (open source particularly) develops a bit more. When it gets to the point where a robot can ‘see’ all of it’s limbs, know where the joints are etc, it removes the need for such complex feedback systems in the libs themselves, and allows you to knock something up from junk more easily

  11. Andar_b says:

    It makes more sense for a robot to sense its appendages, rather than using vision to determine their location. As far as I know, no biological system requires sight to determine body position, because vision is so unreliable.

  12. GSV Pinochet's digital négligé says:

    Does it not take considerably longer to pick things up with your eyes closed? You use fingertip touch to determine grip, which is always going to be essential, but apart from back I can’t see that you use that much feedback from nerves in your arms when performing tasks. I suppose though you do have the ability to make fairly precise relative movements (like typing), but these are only relative without any spacial context.

  13. localroger says:

    @Andar_b: There is a disease of the inner ear which causes its victims to lose their balance when they close their eyes. While we have all the usual kinesthetic senses we have so much brain devoted to vision that that tends to dominate unless it’s unavailable for some reason. Of course robots of today’s scale are going to be more like simpler animals that don’t have all that directed vision processing, and kinesthetic senses are a lot easier to process and deal with.

  14. monkeyslayer56 says:

    as others have said “epic win”

  15. Pilotgeek says:


  16. Thedudefrommiamivice says:

    Holy crap! I thought I was good at re-purposing old junk into new stuff but I now realize how low on the level of cool my projects really are.

    /me starts a slow clap.

  17. TheKhakinator says:

    Awesome stuff there. Be cool to see it all hooked up to a controller to do some automated stuff but even just as it is, is awesome.

    I have to say, Hackaday has been awesome this past week. A welcome return to form!

  18. Thedudefrommiamivice says:

    You must have missed the post on how to bookmark pages in firefox.

  19. Brian says:

    This is nice and all but to the move? It looks more like plastic models without any utility.

  20. TheKhakinator says:

    And to those that say it’s harder to pick something up with your eyes closed, you may realise that it is because you can’t see where the object you’re aiming for is.

    Instead try to touch your nose, tip of your ears, etc. with your eyes closed. Easy as.

  21. ak77 says:

    GSV Pinochet’s digital négligé,


  22. strider_mt2k says:

    Inspiring and beautiful.

    Pure Win indeed!

  23. therian says:

    So “hackers” who “hack” by connecting shield to arduino to buzz a noise or blink a led should be ashamed that even kids can do real hacks from nothing more than garbage instead turning expensive equipment into garbage

  24. asd says:

    Great,i always think that we throw away a lot usefull things and we pay again for new thing that can be done with our trash.
    it’s not only a matter of throw away money,it’s important because you waste some precious resource and resource aren’t endless.

  25. Roly says:

    I’ve been scavaging garbage for ages, but I take my hat off to this young guy. Really outstanding and inspiring. Epic win indeed.

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