Chennai: For most of us, technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics and Programming are quite difficult to understand.
Even full-fledged software engineers are mostly not experts in these advancements. But a 14-year-old Chennai youth has not only mastered these but has also invented five useful gadgets utilising his skills.
Meet V S Roshan, a class 10 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Meenambakkam, who is on a developing spree in his home laboratory. He speaks to News Today about what he has done so far.
Q: When most kids your age are into school curriculum, what pushed you into learning software technologies?
A: I am basically from a software background. My mom B Sujaritha (42), originally from Palakkad, was a software engineer at Colt Computers and also managed her own software education firm Skyfo Technologies Pvt Ltd in the early 2000s assisting NIIT. She has also released an XSLT book for US based Wrox Publications.
Similarly, my dad G Sudhir Menon (47), who is a native of Guruvayur, currently works as a software engineer at Oracle. When I was nine years old, my mom started teaching me basic software like C and C++ just for spending my free time in a constructive way. But what started as a mere hobby soon turned into a passion. As days passed, I started delving deep into the world of technologies.
Q: Let’s know more about your learning stage and inventions.
A: My mom was the driving force for all my inventions. The moment I mastered programming, my parents bought me two chips: the Arduino Uno, Raspberry Pi 3 and insisted I explore all options with them.
As I knew C, C++, required for the former and Python required for the latter, I started putting the boards to use. Soon, came my first invention, ‘Smart Shoe’. When worn by blind people, it will alert them to stop walking or turn when they are about to hit an obstacle. It will also help them navigate without anyone’s help.
The second invention is ‘Soil Moisture Detecting Smart Plant’. In this, a chip will be placed inside the soil. When the moisture content of the soil reduces, the board senses it and switches on the irrigation motor.
The third one is ‘Code with a Robot’. Nowadays, there are many robotic toys available in the market. But their shortcoming is that they have very limited controls. But with the help of Python, I have exploited one such robot and made it perform many different tasks.
My fourth invention is ‘Voice Controlled Blurb’. It works similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
My final invention is ‘Weather and News Station’ where all the information about weather and happenings near us will be displayed right over our home dressing mirror getting data from RSS feeds.
Q: Apart from these, what are your achievements?
A: My biggest achievement is becoming a member of Google Developer Forum which is very difficult as we have to clear a lot of tests. In addition, I also have many accolades. I obtained Google Analytics Individual Qualification from Google in June 2018, Programming Using Python Certification from MITX – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, in the same month, UAV Basic Light Training Certification from Unmanned Vehicle University, Arizona, USA, in February 2018, Best Blogger Award from WordPress in January 2018, completed a course on Artificial Intelligence from Berkeley University, California, in September 2017 and from Columbia University in May 2017, got Google AI Developer Certification Eam from Google in November 2017, got Robo C Programming – Advanced Level Certification from Techno School of Robotics in 2016 and finally, Young Scientist in the field of Robotics Award from the same institution in 2015.
Q: It seems you are a schoolpreneur. What’s it all about?
A: Across the world, the term ‘schoolpreneur’ is becoming popular. It refers to a school kid who has become an entrepreneur. I have my own research lab at home where I experiment different things in IoT, AI, etc. While I have all the resources available for the process, what’s missing is man power. There is a saying that working as a team yields more results than putting efforts single-handedly. So, I have started my own firm, Zeptoknow Pvt Ltd, where I teach what I know to students and then take them into my team for undertaking global projects. I also have my YouTube channel, Roshan-Code2.0 and Google+ community Code2.0.
Q: How are you able to achieve a balance between academics and your passion?
A: The first and foremost reason is my school management. Unlike other schools that push students into a narrow path, my school fully supports my endeavours. Seeing my enthusiasm in learning latest trends in technologies, my principal Chitra Mukundan even paved the way for me to conduct an orientation programme for class 12 students who are basically my seniors.
That’s not all, when Kendriya Vidyalaya commissioner was on inspection, he came to know about my activities and helped me do a lot of initiatives in the school. I also recently participated in an inter-school exhibition at Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT campus, and an orientation programme at Anna University. I have created a daily schedule for academics, exercise and technologies which help me achieve a balance.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I am presently working on my sixth project, an autonomous drone. As far as future plans are considered, my focus will be more on AI or robotics. As a matter of fact, Steve Jobs is my role-model. Soon, I will be roping in like-minded people and start developing more projects. The future is open and it’s the right time everyone ventured into something creative stuff.
Roshan can be reached out at 9962019876, 9884473440. Address: New No. 1, Old No. 3, Lakshmi Nagar, 6th Street Extension, Nanganallur.