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How a blue-collar worker became innovator, tech expert

By Wu Yan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-09-30 10:59

How a blue-collar worker became innovator, tech expert

The photo shows a circuit board of Diao's new innovation, fire extinguishing and explosion proof intelligent robot (system), at his office in Fushun, Northeast China's Liaoning province, Sept 27, 2016. [Photo by Wu Yan/chinadaily.com.cn]

Diao has to weld over a hundred components to a hand-sized circuit board. Though skillful and experienced as he is, making a new circuit board costs him half a day, plus he had to keep his hands steady and not get distracted. As components are expensive, a mistake usually meant a waste of money and more time.

During the research process, he made over a hundred circuit boards in repetitive experiments and spent three years without weekends to create the final version of the fire extinguishing robot.

"What you make is not a product but an art. You have to see your work as your child," said Diao, "For example, you can make a product at the size the standard requires you do, but you can also make it as small as possible. You have to use your ability to the extreme in every small art piece."

More than a hundred of failures and years of tedious experiments never defeated him and the success of the fire extinguishing robot is not the end of his creativity. He seems to be inexhaustible by shouldering another seven undergoing research projects.

"The key is your interest," said Diao, "I did every experiment with hope and I loved every moment of success."

His innovations have made him a national leading microelectronic technology expert, but it is hard to imagine his career started from a vocational school.

One year after taking the job of a bench worker in Petro China in 1988, Diao studied in Fushun Workers' Vocational School in spare time to gain more knowledge and skill, where he came face to face with a computer for the first time and fell in love with it.

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