Bolivian inventor proves one man’s trash is another man’s drone

Heavy Construction News

May 11 – A Bolivian inventor is proving that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, by taking cast-off materials and using them to make unmanned aerial vehicles. In developing countries like Bolivia, Alex Chipana says such innovative use of everyday materials could have a positive impact on the lives of millions. Tara Cleary reports.

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Alex Chipana’s drone was built on the cheap – a lot of it is made from recycled materials.
But, it works … very well. It’s capable of flying for some 20 minutes at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, and at an altitude of 2 km.
The motor, onboard camera and GPS system are imported … but the Bolivian inventor finds the rest of the parts at flea markets like this one in El Alto.
“The structure and all of this is my own design. The parts that I find in markets in El Alto are: the wood and parts of a pen, a cap from a deodorant or perfume bottle.”
Conventional drone technology is expensive and therefore, unavaliable to most people in this landlocked, low income country.
But Chipana thinks drones could help Bolivia develop, through aerial crop management or for connecting isolated communities to the Internet.
And he says cheap, recyclable materials are easy to find.
“You can find printers, refrigerators, photocopiers, motors and controllers – and they’re all broken down into different parts. Loads of things you can use for a robot. With all of these available items the market is considered a paradise for roboticists and all these things are very cheap.”
Chipana’s drone is attracting a lot of attention. He hopes his recycling, repurposing ideas take off to help break down the digital divide in one of Latin America’s poorest nations.

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Toyota sells all shares in Tesla as their tie-up ends| Reuters

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TOKYO Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Saturday it had sold all shares in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) by the end of 2016, having canceled its tie-up with the U.S. luxury automaker to jointly develop electric vehicles.


Japan’s biggest automaker had bought around a 3 percent stake in the Palo Alto-based automaker for $50 million.



Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai said the company had sold all of its shares in Tesla as of the end of 2016, part of a regular, periodic review of its investments, after it had initially sold down a portion in 2014.



“Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake,” he said.



In November, the Japanese automaker appointed its president to lead their newly-formed electric car division, flagging its commitment to develop a technology that it has been slow to embrace.


The department comprises a new in-house unit to plan Toyota’s strategy to develop and market electric cars as part of the company’s efforts to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations.


(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu, Writing by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)


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As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.