The older generation of today may show no qualms about expressing their disappointment in the younger generation, with the prevalent obsession for their mobile phones and social media apps. However, while most of the youth are too busy taking selfies, a 17-year old boy genius has been immersing himself in science and technology.
Angelo Casimiro, a Physics student from Dela Salle University in the Philippines, is a born tinkerer. At the age of 4, he was already nifty with screwdrivers and wrenches, building gadgets and gizmos from which most kids his age had been asked to stay away. At the age of 12, he was already uploading DIY tutorial videos to Youtube, via the username TechBuilder. If you’re a geek with a penchant for sci-fi DIY’s, you have probably already encountered this young man in the last 5 years. He made waves in the sci-tech world in 2014 when he created a pair of electricity-generating shoes.
Casimiro’s latest project, the tutorial video of which was uploaded a week ago, was a real and working BB-8 droid -yup, that totally adorable android from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Oh, did you know that not all geeks are a big Star Wars fan? Yup, not this geek. He has had acquired a fondness for Star Wars only when he watched the recent installment.
With the proliferation of BB-8 toys in the market, you might be asking what the big deal is about his robot. Well, 1) it cost him only $120 to make (versus Sphero’s $149.99); 2) it is life-size (versus Sphero’s miniature 11.4cm toy); 3) it can be controlled via a smart phone; 4) it is made from household materials and Arduino remote control circuitry; and 5) it actually talks and makes those cute BB-8 droid sounds! Oh, and please don’t forget that it is made by a 17-year old.
Okay, here’s a disclaimer, when the young guy said he made it from materials readily available at home, he specifically meant his home. What other household has a spare gearbox, a servo, and a Styrofoam cutter on hand? Not your household, that’s for sure. The actual household items he was talking about, which you might find in your own home, are roll-on deodorants, magnets, and a Christmas ball among other things.
In the future, Casimiro wishes to mass-produce solar-powered vehicles in his country. At the rate that he’s going, that future may be just a couple of decades ahead.