Inspiring the young, via Robotics
Here at Global Innovation Magazine, we like nothing better than talking to people who are making a difference in people’s lives. Not just because of the technology they develop, which of course can have a great impact.
The great stories for us are the ones about people who have been inspired to help, teach and make a difference socially.
This is one such interview.
Sai Saandeep Sadu is the Founder and CTO of the educational and social business – Robogyaan.
Only 22 now, Sai, started an NGO ‘SCHOOLRONICS’ at the age of 18.
Later, he formed ‘ROBOGYAAN’ (with his friend, Co-Founder and CEO Sitaram Tallam) an educational company which teaches children about technology through robotics. They have worked with tens of thousands of children in India, and during the Covid-19 pandemic have been helping their community by mobilising their skills to create PPE for those in need.
James O’Flynn spoke to Sai from his home in India to learn more about his company and his passion for teaching and helping out his community.
Tell us about yourself Sai.
I am 22 years old, and I come from India. My father is a painting artist and my mother is a housewife, I have a younger sister.
I love electronics and have done since I was young. I had a habit of breaking and damaging toys out of his curiosity when I was a child. Once I even poured water onto the tv, unfortunately for my parents. I have always tinkered with electronics and mechanics, and my physics teacher, Miss Saritha, must have noticed something in me because she gave me a book on circuits, which meant nothing to me at the time, but I picked things up and have learnt over the years. I used to save up my pocket money to buy circuits and electronics have been a fascination of mine ever since. In later years I have been lucky to have worked with some great mentors, Dr Hafeeh Basha and Mr.M.Praveen Kumar who have really inspired me, and this inspiration I hope to pass onto the younger generation.
So tell us about how Robogyaan.
Robogyaan was started with the motto of educating children on robotics and other exponential technologies. We work in cities and we work with children in the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We got funding from NATS(North America Telugu Society), the US-Based Nonprofit organization working to create sustainability in Telugu states.
Our mission is to leverage the engineering skills of those who are interested in robotics and niche technologies. Robogyaan is a platform that brings experts, technicians, and allied professionals together to solve social problems through technology and youth mobilization. We want to solve social problems and change the way people live, which is quite a big mission statement.
So what do you do then?
We help students by getting them involved in robotics. We help them to learn about engineering, electronics and coding. We push them to learn about innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. We want to contribute towards the transformation of education in India, which again is a big thing to aim towards, but a challenge that we are really enjoying, and getting great feedback on.
We conduct workshops in schools. We have done over 3000 projects, helping 10,000 students so far. We try to instil practical and technical knowledge in the children through hands-on work, and sessions. Hopefully, those children will go on to inspire others, and our work spreads even further.
We have our own prototyping kits which we use in school, to help children build robots, and the feedback to his has been amazing, the kids really enjoy building the robots and learning how to do experiments with them.
You have been working with the community in other ways since the Covid-19 situation?
Yes. Covid-19, of course, has been a real shock to everyone, and it has disrupted everyone’s lives. We have been trying to help out and give something back to the healthcare professionals by making PPE for local Doctors and health workers.
What else are you working on?
We continue to mentor children, but recently we have been doing some work on smart meters for local farmers, in collaboration with an organisation called ‘Kaanthi’, with financial and technical support from the IEEE. We have been working on mobile starter motors for farmers.
We have also developed a low-cost home automation technology which is ready to go to market if we can secure the remaining funding required. All of our work is about thinking out of the box, but I guess that’s what I have always found interesting.
Where can we learn more about your work?
Our website is a good place to start, as is Facebook.
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