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Bolivian teen genius builds robots by scavenging dumpsites

  • Self-taught Bolivian teen builds robots out of e-waste
  • Esteban Quispe Churata becomes world-famous after making a real-life Wall-E
  • Dubbed the “Bolivian Wall-E”, Esteban wants his robots to be eco-friendly: his focus is on recycling and he plans to create solar-powered models

Bolivian teenager, Esteban Quispe Churata is considered a genius in his hometown of Patacamaya. He taught himself to create robots out of any e-waste he can find in local dumps and markets. All of his inventions, many of which are inspired by the wondrous machines of Hollywood movies, are made using recycled and reclaimed components. Environmentally-minded Esteban wants his creations to be solar-powered in the future.

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His best-known robot is a real-life version of Wall-E, the eponymous hero of Pixar’s animated film. The robot, which is controlled by mobile phone, is the epitome of what Esteban stands for: in the movie he cleared the planet of rubbish while using discarded electronic parts to repair himself. After recreating the adorable robot, Esteban became known around the world as the “Bolivian Wall-E”.

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As Esteban turns 18 he signs up with the Bolivian army, he wants a future career in politics, and that’s only open to people who’ve served. However, regardless of his career plans, making robots is a passion he wants to pursue for the rest of his life. 

His natural talent and insatiable drive to create, help him find ways to keep his enthusiasm alive, despite a lack of funds, even if that sometimes means dismantling old creations to make new ones.