The young Bolivian inventor whose robot takes on the toll of toiling the land
By Gabriel Romano
Quinamaya, Bolivia, Oct 27 (EFE).- A robotic contraption made largely of salvaged components has taken over the burden of plowing the earth and planting potatoes on one family’s plot in the harsh terrain of the Bolivian highlands.
The prototype, known as Satiri, which in the indigenous Aymara language means “to sow,” is the creation of 22-year-old Ramiro Mamani.
He has put it to work on the plains of Quinamaya, a village to the southwest of La Paz where his parents, Ladislao and Rosa, have a small property with livestock such as cows, llamas and sheep as well as a plot for growing potatoes and barley.
Ramiro found a passion for working with circuit boards at a young age and nurtured his skills when he went to college in the nearby city of Viacha, which has a strong reputation as a place to study robotics.
He saved up his money and spent his Sundays working in a factory to be able to afford some fundamental tools and material for his first creations.
Ramiro would later enrol at the Public University of El Alto to study electrical engineering, where his projects have won several awards.
During the Covid-19 quarantine last year, he returned to his family home in Quinamaya to help out on the farm while he studied remotely.
He watched his mother and father toil away on the land and complain about the physical toll it took on their bodies.
“If I have won competitions, then why not make a robot to help my parents sow the field with potatoes,” he thought to himself.