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Young Sudan inventor utilises electronic waste to build robots

March 17, 2023 at 3:30 pm

Sudanese Moatasem Jibril, who dropped out of his electronics engineering course for economic reasons, works on a robot in his house using waste products in Khartoum, Sudan on 2 March 2023 [Mahmoud Hjaj/ Anadolu Agency]

Moatasem Jibril, a young man from Sudan, is realising his dream of conducting technological experiments to manufacture robots by using recycled electronic waste.

Despite modest capabilities and living in a mud house in the city of Omdurman, west of the capital, Khartoum, Jibril did not give up on his dream of making a robot, even after having to quit university due to the deteriorating economic conditions of his family.

For about ten years, Jibril has been trying to create robots in a narrow space inside his family house, and he challenges poverty by working daily in the market to earn money to purchase the materials he needs for his project. He hopes that his dream will be funded by any businessman or institution.

Sudan is suffering from many crises, starting with a shortage of basic and imported commodities, as well as the depreciation of the local currency, in addition to the government’s measures to lift fuel subsidies at the request of the International Monetary Fund in 2021.

Childhood dream

Jibril’s dream of making robots arose from his childhood, inspired by cartoons.

“Making robots is a dream that has been in my mind since childhood, and I try hard to turn my dream into reality,” he said.

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He started making robots nine years ago, after watching many movies that talk about inventors.

The young man mainly relies on the electronic waste that he obtains at a low price from local markets to build his robots, since the basic components exceed his financial ability.

He is searching continuously and painstakingly in electronic markets on the internet for any electronic parts offered for sale that are suitable for his industry, to buy them at reasonable prices.

Sudan is witnessing fluctuations in the abundance of foreign exchange, which raises the cost of imports and bears the final consumer the exchange rate differences, in addition to the rise in global prices, especially fuel and food.

Economic conditions

“In the initial stages, I moved more freely after studying and saving some money from my daily allowances,” Jibril said.

He was studying electronics engineering at the International University of Sudan. He often worked while studying, to save money to pay tuition fees and sit for exams. However, due to financial weakness of his parents, he missed many exams and eventually found himself dismissed from the University.

Jibril did not pay attention to the ridicule of his school and neighbourhood friends, and continued to implement his idea day and night.

“I still suffer from the mockery of colleagues and friends at the University when I begin to explain my project related to the manufacture of robots,” he said. “They consider it mere triviality, despite my continuous explanation of the idea of the project using engineering methods and three-dimensional designs.”

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Jibril hopes that his economic conditions will improve, so he can return to the University to complete his academic studies in engineering and software fields.

He aspires to complete a project in building robots on a scientific basis and then start selling them.

As for his big dream, it is to go beyond the robotics industry and reach the stage of manufacturing micro-precision missiles and apply his motto that says: “Everything is possible with determination and persistence.”

He is looking forward to the future by completing his academic studies and hopes to find sponsorship from local or international institutions that will adopt his project to crown his success story and reach the world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.