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Published on Sep 11, 2009
A reservoir might be a playground for some, but for Tao Xiangli, it's where he tests his home-made submarine.
Tao, who didn't finish primary school, spent two years building an 800 kg, 6.5 meter-long submarine.
The main body of the craft, which can dive some 10 meters deep, is made from metal barrels.
The 34-year-old amateur inventor is also creator of a massaging hair-washer and shoe-polishing machine.
Despite having 17 patents on some 50 inventions, none have yet brought him financial return or serious acknowledgement.
Tao hopes the sub will be different.
[Tao Xiangli, Amateur Inventor]: "At least I have tried. You only know what results you get after you make things happen. No matter how many dreams I have, if I don't pursue my dreams, nobody will know who I am. People won't be able to find me. This is self-recognition and I hope to find people to help me."
The (sub's) cramped interior fits just only one person, but offers pressure meters, monitoring cameras and the needed oxygen supply.
Tao has also installed headlights and is working on his version of a periscope, while locals say the sub project is finding its sea legs.
[Mr. Qi, Beijing Resident]: "I think it's very interesting. I didn't expect to see a submarine in the middle of the reservoir."
[Unidentified Beijing Resident]: "I think Tao is creative. He is very persistent as well. I saw him launch the submarine in the reservoir last winter, when it was cold. If I were him, I would have given up."
A Beijing water shortage hasn't helped with Tao's inventions.
But the inventor is not discouraged, saying more research and new inventions are to come.