Cui has been in the news recently.
No, that’s not him, keep reading.
Cui Runquan of Hebei can’t make noodles. Specifically, he has trouble making shaved noodles. This is a kind of noodle made by whittling or scraping chips of pastry off a lump of it. If you can’t picture it, don’t worry, there’s a video.
Translated From iFeng:
Cui Is from Dongguan village in Yangyuan County, was born in 1976, and has a junior high school education. His noodle shop is rented, but the inventions in it are his own. He never thought his noodle making robot would be awarded a Chinese patent, or that it was the first in the country. (…)
“Making noodles is hard work, and the person doing it can never leave the pot. It’s stinking hot all day, sometimes you just drenched in sweat, and you can’t stop a few drops falling into the pot, which isn’t very hygienic. The noodle making robot stops this from happening, and since it simulates a real person, the noodles are all uniform in length, thick in the middle and thin on the edge, with edges and corners, deep colour, and a smooth palate. Much better then the machines you buy in the supermarkets."
After Spring Festival, Cui went alone to a factory in Beijing sold some shares in his invention, and made final preparations for production. Cui said that by the end of February his product would be available for wholesale. “My greatest wish is that ordinary people all over the country be able to eat these time-saving noodles."
In the video you can see the robot in action. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
One thing that does require explanation is his other invention, which is mentioned in the video after the robot.
He has refitted the chimney for his cooker to heat up interior of his restaurant. He doesn’t mention any noxious fumes he might be subjecting his customers to, but the reporter says he saves 1400 RMB on heating every winter, a considerable sum in China. Ingenious. The kind of guy who ends up a self made millionare.
I think Cui’s story says a lot about modern China. I can’t imagine anyone I know, not in Australia anyway, whipping up a robot in their back room to help them do anything. It looks a little goofy, but gets the job done, which is something the Chinese appreciate. They (We?) are a very practical people.
There’s a kind of fervour in the air there, stuff is always happening. The intensity in which people live their lives is what I picture whenever I think back on the time I spent there. I miss it the most, even though it was a little frustrating at times.