Young Achievers

Team cloneators

Bangalore-based Ashish S, Priyesh Tiwari, P. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Udith Raju — all class IX students of the Air Force School (AFS), Hebbal, bonded together under the name and style of Team Cloneators — were crowned champions of Teenovators 2015-16, an annual national inter-school science and technology competition, the finals of which were staged at Manipal University, Udupi, on January 30.

The quartet presented a high-powered jury their well-researched ‘Cloneator’ robotic device and sufficiently impressed it during a gruelling Q&A to bag the first prize — a bumper cash award of Rs.5 lakh. Garden High International School, Kolkata and Bharatiya Jain Sanghatan Junior College, Pune, were adjudged the first and second runners-up.

Teenovators 2015-16, centred on the theme ‘creating for a social cause’, drew participation of 150,000 students from 400 schools countrywide. Organised by Manipal University in association with the Bangalore-based INKtalks, the competitive event provides young inventors a platform to showcase their creative and innovative skills.

According to their project synopsis, Team Cloneators was required to design and construct a prosthetic equipped with bio mimicry capabilities. “Our model designed for amputees needing prosthetic limbs had two components — the TX (transmitter) robot which can be strapped onto the working limb, and the RX (receiver) robot which can be used as a prosthetic limb, connected by a wire series. The value addition of our invention is that it greatly improves the speed, flexibility and manoeuvrability of prosthetic limbs,” explains team leader Ashish S.

Team Cloneators was ably guided by parents, school faculty and mentors from Manipal U. “We are extremely grateful to our physics teacher Revathy and our Manipal University mentors Karl, Srinivasan and Teja for the considerable time they invested in helping us design our robot,” says Priyesh, speaking on behalf of the team.

Having returned from Teenovators after learning valuable lessons about the power of teamwork in finding solutions to everyday problems, the quartet plans to compete in more national and international competitions before signing up for engineering degree programmes after completing Plus Two in 2019.

Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)

Abhik Saha

Contrary to the popular belief that all killer apps flooding internet space are invented by little wonders doing their thing in metropolitan India, Abhik Saha, the 13-year-old promoter-CEO of Arnabhik Corp (estb. 2014), operates out of Chalsa, a small town in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

A class IX student of the CISCE-affiliated Don Bosco English Medium School, Oodlabari, over the past two years, Abhik has conceptualised and developed six free mobile applications — four of which are currently registered with Google — which can be downloaded on Android devices. The apps are: Birdingo, Math++, Task 24, Abcd planet, Arnabhik website builder, and i-Learn.

The elder child of school teacher Shefali, and Alok, a plywoods trader, this town hero has exhibited organisational skills beyond his years, dividing his web design and mobile applications businesses into three subsidiaries — Arnabhik Lab, which creates computer software, Arnabhik Apps Platform for developing mobile apps and games and Arnabhik Web, which handles web design.

“My inspiration was a success story of Chennai-based brothers Sanjay (12) and Shravan Kumaran (15), who had similarly promoted a mobile app company in 2012. They hugely inspired me and kindled my interest in computer programming. Going by the logic that people use mobile phones more than computers these days, I decided first to concentrate my efforts on developing mobile apps which enable students to enhance their maths learning capabilities,” says Abhik.

Looking to the future, young Abhik hopes to crack the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) of the IITs after his higher secondary education, and study computer science engineering at IIT-Kharagpur even as he continues to develop apps and grow his business enterprises. “After my class IX final exams this month, I plan to engage in some aggressive marketing so I can commercialise my businesses and start hiring professionals to manage my divisions,” says Abhik, who loves his hometown but laments its poor internet connectivity.

“My dream is to consolidate my company and transform the youth of Chalsa to become tech-savvy global citizens,” he enthuses.

God speed!

Baishali Mukherjee (Kolkata)