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Chinese robotics artist makes real-life 'Transformers'

Updated: 2017-09-20 07:03

Sun Shiqian, a Chinese artist, shows a robot head at his studio in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The next model of the Monkey King robot is slated to challenge an American giant robot to a duel next year.

Sun grew up on an island off the coast of Dalian in Northeast China. His family could not afford many toys, but his father, a former soldier, would often show him simple blueprints of weapons that were used in combat.

Using these blueprints and sheets of cardboard, Sun fashioned miniature fighting dragons and other creatures.

"I began to like art more and more, and I made increasingly complex robots in my spare time," he says.

After leaving his engineering post in 2011, Sun focused his energy on designing robots - some costing upward of 1 million yuan ($150,000) - and making his visions a reality.

In 2014, he was commissioned by Paramount Movies to make robot sculptures to promote Transformers: Age of Extinction, which broke box-office records in China.

One model was exhibited at the historic Qianmen Gate, which formerly guarded the entrance to the Imperial City in Beijing.

"People asked me, why are they putting foreign art in front of Qianmen?" Sun recalls.

"This had a big impact on me, because they recognized that this robot did not have Chinese origins. From then on, my dream has been to create robot art that is distinctly Chinese."

Agence France-presse

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