Bolivia: “Satiri”, the robot sower, the invention of a young man to simplify agriculture

Satiri, which in Aymara means to sow, is the name of a robot designed by the Bolivian Ramiro Mamani The 22-year-old who channeled his knowledge to manufacture a prototype that plows the land and plants potatoes in the shortest possible time in the tough highlands of Bolivia.

This is the twenty-second prototype of old robots that Ramiro, the second in a family of seven, has designed since the age of 16 and which they served to bring Satiri to life, which he has had to make lack of means, the young man explained to Efe.

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The artifact does its job in the plains of Quinamaya, a small town 35 kilometers southwest of La Paz, where Ramiro’s parents, Ladislao and Rosa, have a small house with pets such as cows, llamas and sheep, as well as a plot where they plant barley or potatoes.

Young Ramiro Mamani poses in the workshop where he designed his “Satiri” robot. PHOTO: EFE

An open vocation

Ramiro discovered his love for circuits when he left the town’s primary school and went to Viacha School, the largest town near Quinamaya, with a good reputation for teaching robotics.

The young man saved money since his school years and worked Sundays in factories to later get essential parts for a new creation or buy the first tools.

From there was born a series of line-following robots, which collect trash or solve mazes, which, after being solved, gave life to new ones, since he had to “dismantle and reuse components” to not not stop, said.

Over the years, he entered the Public University of El Alto to study electronic engineering. This is how he participated in several competitions with some victories that made him stand out.

A workshop in a stable

The ‘baticueva’ is the name of Ramiro’s workshop, a kind of gabled house where he keeps his tools, circuits, computer and which, at night, serves as a garage for Satiri.

Young Ramiro Mamani operates his robot “Satiri” in the town of Quinamaya, Bolivia. Photo: EFE

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The inventor recalled that the workshop “was a barn for storing cow manure” in rustic adobe and that it was on the verge of collapsing until his father, who in his youth was the only one. of the region capable of installing solar panels or pumps. of water, prompted him to do the remodeling.

At the top of the main wall, as if it were an altarpiece in a church, is the image of Albert Einstein; From there other figures like Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla or Stephen Hawking, who are Ramiro’s “inspiration” when he decides to create, emerge in a top-down fashion.

At the bottom a small blackboard on which he draws the drawings by hand and on one side a computer for simulations and plans of his work based on mathematical formulas.

The robot seed drill

During quarantine Last year, Ramiro returned to his parents’ home in Quinamaya to help with field chores while taking distance education, several times at the top of a hill to pick up the internet signal.

The young man, accompanied by his mother, operates his “Satiri” robot, in the town of Quinamaya (Bolivia). Photo credit: Martin Alipaz / EFE

“If I took part in competitions, why not make a better robot to help my parents plant potatoes? body.

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Ramiro recalled that to finance his project “the main problem was moneySo he started to pick up some objects like old wheelbarrows, molds or pieces of iron to form the structure and buy other items.

“I had to sell a bull to buy the batteries” of the truck which can be recharged and be used to give autonomy of movement to the robot which is used for plowing and sowing and which was initially remotely controlled.

Satiri has an iron steering wheel, a sheepskin box serves as the driver’s seat, and has a system of plow discs to which an old piece of rail must be attached for pressure. All this generates good performance.

Ramiro says his robot does the job of about four people and that with this, the preparation of the earth, which can take about eight hours by hand, is reduced to about two. In addition, energy costs are lower.

“I would like to develop projects or robots to help society, generally where more physical effort is necessary”, this is the dream of this young man who took a break from his studies to engage in the service compulsory military, a factor of social notoriety in the rural area of ​​the country.

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