The Indonesia’s Iron Man: He built a ‘robotic arm’ with scrap metal to use his paralysed arm

A stroke left his arm paralysed, but that did not dampen his spirit, he built a ‘bionic arm’ using spare parts from his garage

Wayan Sumardana hails from a small village in Bali, Indonesia, and about six months ago he suffered a stroke because of which he lost all sensation on his left arm. 

The father of three, could not work to provide for his family. He mustered all his will power to work out a solution.

And so, he dedicated three months to build a ‘robotic arm’ using the scrape metal, gear wheels and lithium battery from his garage.

The 31-year-old welder by trade, has no formal degree but went to a technical secondary school. Here, he discovered his passion for electrical engineering.
Soon the news of his discovery spread like wild fire and he earned the nick name of ‘Ironman’ and ‘Cyborg’.

In an interview to BBC Wayan Sumardana claimed, “It’s like a lie detector machine. I send a signal from my brain and that message is captured by the machine and it makes my arm move.”

His technological breakthrough became a huge hit in his village, so much so that his house was swamped with local government officials, policemen and Bali’s governor, Made Mangku Pastika, himself.

However, his invention received flak from mechanical engineers who considered the working of the robotic arm to be impossible without computer programming.

Skeptics might have tagged his contraption as implausible, but Sumardana’s invention hasenthralled the Balinese population who strongly believe that mystical powers helped himbuild the bionic arm.



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