How it all started it kind of a blur, but I remember dissecting everything I could get my hands of to figure out how they worked and were put together.
Putting stuff back together again was in the beginning more a necessity out of fear of getting caught than out of interest, but at some point it transitioned into actually wanting to not only put things back together, but also build things from scratch.
My first memory I can currently remember is the televison series "M.A.S.K." where the child protagonist had a personal robot following him along. I wanted that SO bad, but unfortunately this was still 30 years before Arduino was even a thing, so my attempt stranded on some light bulbs bolted to a table on casters and a long extension chord. Not even close to the AI that will surely make us extinct withing near future.
At least for my part, the interest pivoted from robotics and more towards inanimate object with a more aesthetical and practical incling - not saying a personal robot companion wouldn't be practical.