Skip to main content

Robot spiders from Togo promote e-scrap best practices

The Togolese Republic in West Africa imports roughly 500 000 tonnes of e-scrap every year. Local entrepreneur Ousia Foli-Bebe is on a special mission: to transform the countless discarded television screens, mobile phones and computer parts into one-of-a-kind robots.

Whoever steps foot into EcoTecLab Makerspace’s office in Lomé city will undoubtedly see a robotic spider crawling across the desk. Company founder Ousia Foli-Bebe crafted several arachnid creatures of various shapes and sizes from salvaged electronic equipment. But not purely for amusement – no, to help youngsters see the value in materials. And, ultimately, to inspire their interest in engineering and sustainable design.

Foli-Bebe started his e-scrap adventure in 2016, when he built the first 3D printer completely from end-of-life electronics parts. This machine allowed him to create the legs for his robotic spiders. These scrap creatures certainly got the attention of young students Foli-Bebe visits as part of his eco tour across the country.

The 29-year old entrepreneur set up a mobile ‘tech lab’ in a bus to showcase the true power of e-scrap. He teaches students to dismantle and put together electronics. The devices are sourced from the tennis court-sized scrapyard next to the EcoTecLab’s building. Foli-Bebe says he shares the yard with a local e-scrap recycler friend of his to ensure he always has ‘easy access’ to materials.

The youngman adds he himself was inspired by Gnikou Afate, a local inventor who produced the first 3D printer made completely from e-scrap.

Having completed the MandelaWashington Fellowship, Foli-Bebe plans to develop and commercialise open source hardware. He will focus especially on solar dryers and agricultural technology.

Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.

You might find this interesting too

Cash fund to boost UK e-scrap collection
Australia invests 20 million in future-proofing recycling tech

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe now and get a full year for just €136 (normal rate is €170) Subscribe