When I was at the age of seven, I was playing with a toy vehicle made by my brother, which comprised two small wheels made out of worn-out slippers, a long wooden pole, and a wooden steering wheel. At that point, I was not even able to read English, nor had I heard of the word ‘entrepreneurship’, and no way could I have spelt it.
But this kid, at the age of seven, has already built a remote-controlled auto rickshaw, a smart seat belt that can unfasten in the event of an accident, a humanoid robot, and a smart walking stick for the visually impaired.
Meet Saarang Sumesh from Kochi (South India), a Class III student who has just returned from the US after showcasing his talent at the Maker Faire event held in Bay Area in the end of May. During the trip, the wonder kid not only got to visit the campuses of major tech companies such as Google, Intel and Mozilla, but also got a chance to interact with professors from MIT and Stanford, as well as Arduino Co-founder Massimo Banzi, who has offered him all the support to give wings to his dreams.
Parents noticed Saarang’s creative spark at the age of three, when he tried to build internal combustion engine models. A year later, the combustion models made way for robotics, and he began to build the LEGO NxT robot models.
“When I got the Lego robotic kit I was thrilled to make robots out of it. Later, I started making robots for different purposes,” he said in an interview to The New Indian Express.
Then he started visiting the Fab Lab at Startup Village, a government-run accelerator. And his curiosity to learn new things and thirst for knowledge paid off, Saarang successfully developed a robot that can clean the house. It works by attaching a wet cloth to the robot and the machine keeps rotating to clean the area. There is a device in front of the robot that pushes the dust that comes in the way.
Robotics, however, is still sort of a hobby for Saarang; he starts working on robots only after returning from school.
Saarang has also made a walking stick that can detect obstructions in front of it, a remote-controlled auto rickshaw, a Lego calculator and a humanoid robot that can fire bullets.
He is currently learning and making new Arduino projects using micro-control kit and Raspberry Pi.
Saarang’s serious journey into the world of entrepreneurship started in January this year with a participation in a prominent fest in Ahmedabad. He was adjudged the Youngest Maker at an event called Largest Maker in India organised by Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation in Ahmedabad.
In 2015, he bagged the Young Innovator of Tomorrow Award at the Junior First LEGO League India held at Coimbatore. His robots were also presented at Maker Weekend at Cochin University of Science and Technology.
His father Sumesh Subhash wants Saarang pursue his interests — a rare thing in India as parents always want their kid to study hard and land a high-paying job.
And for this wonder kid, the ultimate goal is to become a scientist.