Hopes from Dead zone: Varosh74, first robot prototype production from youth of Maras-der in northern part of Cyprus.

First local robot prototype of TRNC ‘Varosh74’ is produced yesterday by  Robot Team at Maraş-Der association. It is produced by four young people between the ages of 18 and 21 who are living in the open part of Varosha.

Maras-der is a youth organization which operates in the open part of Varosha in Famagusta. It has activities ranging from cinema nights to book reading days and to trips to different parts of the island. Its main aim is to assist young people, help them on developing their skills and become better members of society. Additionally, Maras-der is breaking stereotypes and prejudices through bringing people together from different background, fostering innovation and creative thinking.

Today, I want to talk about the latest thing about Maras-der: Varosh74. It is a robot prototype that is produced by Maras-der Robot team. This robot team is inspired from the global maker movement which is defined as follows, ‘ The maker movement is a trend in which individuals or groups of individuals create and market products that are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or virtually any raw material and/or product from a computer-related device. The maker movement has led to the creation of a number of technology products and solutions by typical individuals working without supportive infrastructure ‘ .

Maras-der Robot team aims to show that actually, Cyprus is not only about constant crisis and cyprus conflict. Innovative things can also happen here because it is very much possible if you really work for it. Its an initiative against the negative narrative of Cyprus where people live with never-ending cyprus problem, with its young people that are unemployed but university graduate. Plus, it is against the negative narrative of Turkish Cypriots in which society  has low self-confidence with high belief to conspiracy theories in an unrecognized state where there are economic and political restrictions. Maras-Der beleives that no matter what is the status of your country, no matter how much there are economic restrictions and embargoes, if you are good enough, if you can reach to global standards, anything is possible. This is the way to success, and better future.

I know you are curious about what is Varos74. As I said above, it is a prototype which means it will have much developed versions. You can find the video about first version at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyovDqOLtY0 . On the other hand, the features of Varos74 is as follows;

  1. Through its smoke sensor, it has ability to recognize the measure the smoke level in the room, and if it is above the limit, it immediately starts to run away from the smoke.
  2. It can give the warning through its led lights at its eyes when the smoke level pass the limit.
  3. It can be controlled by a remote control through its infrared transceiver sensor.
  4. It can play melodies through the software version of music notes.
  5. It can measure the temperature and humidity level of its environment.

To be honest, when ı consider the resources, and the fact that this is a first version of it, I am getting excited. It will not be fair to finish this writing without mentioning the names that worked for Varos74. Enes Obuz as a designer, Hasan Kumbur, Ali İşlek and Halilcan Okutan as maker, four of them worked for two, three long nights to finish this prototype.  Enes Obuz is said that when we had many difficulties like the lack of resources and lack of technical knowledge, but in the end we did it, we are feeling excited with this result. We will continue to our work for better types of Varos74 . On the other hand Hasan Kumbur said that, we did this because of our dreams with our own resources in our own hometown. We will try to put a light to the future of our country as soon as we find access to more resources which will take us to next levels. Ali İşlek, third member of the team mainly underlined the importance of teamwork. He beleives that this result is possible because of our harmonious teamwork. Halilcan Okutan as the fourth member of the team, he summarised the whole story with three words: We beleived, worked and succeed.

In conclusion; Varos74 is produced with less than a hundred lira. With a proper funding, there are lots of way to go for Maras-der robot team on their purpose of changing the negative narrative of Cyprus into a positive one. I would love to finish this writing with a quote from Steve jobs that ı love a lot. He said that ” Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. ”





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