Angad Daryani, an 18 year old Mumbaiker.”Maker” is what he calls himself. Angad is a school dropout, who left school in the 9th grade and spent 6 hours a day with his tutor learning things that interested him. Angad is a TEDx speaker, founder of Sharkits and SharkBot 3D systems. Angad is the maker of India’s first 3D printer which is also the world’s cheapest 3D printer. He has been an inventor since a very tender age. At 8 he developed Lego Mindstorm Humanoid Robot, at 9 he created Breathing System, Pinhole Camera, Plastic Kaleidoscope and several other significant things. At such an early age, Angad aims at improving people’s lives through technology and innovation.
Let’s hear it from Angad himself.
1. Tell us something about yourself.
I am 18 years old and I am studying Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech. I’m the Founder of Sharkits, SharkBot 3D systems and an ex-team member at Maker’s Asylum, Mumbai. I’ve previously worked with the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab, TreeLabs at the Indian Institute of Technology and the Innovators Club of India. I have also delivered TEDx talks.
2. What are the things that you have made? Explain Sharkbot and Virtual Brailler.
The very first tech-based project I made on my own was a remote controlled model hovercraft in the 6th grade. Soon after, I built a solar powered boat. I have also made a budget friendly 3D printer named Sharkbot.
SharkBot was aimed at being India’s cheapest 3D printer which uses almost no open source components/things designed by others. We have designed almost every part ourselves.
The virtual brailler is an E-reader for the blind. The virtual brailler is a device which converts PDFs and Text Files which we read, from Roman (English) to braille in real time and projects it out of the surface. It gives tactile braille feedback to the tracked finger of a visually-challenged person. I built it along with Vijay Varada, Raghavendra and Ankit Prajapati.
3. How did you learn so much about technology? Did you attend any classes or professional course?
I’d just say it’s passion and curiosity or better, passion driven by curiosity. There are a lot of incredible people in this world who love sharing their knowledge with others for free. When I want to know about something, I keep googling things related to it, and follow links one after the other till I truly understand what’s going on or get an idea about it. I don’t think I know much as yet, there’s a long way to go.
4. How and why did you name your company as “Shark Kits”?
As a Kid, I loved watching National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Programs that showed Sharks and their behaviour fascinated me a lot. I loved the animal and it’s aerodynamic shape/body. It was quiet and elegant on the front and extremely dangerous, fast and active on the inside. Since then, I’d been keen on naming my company “Shark”, regardless of what the company did. My first company was a DIY kit company and that’s how it got the name “Shark Kits”.
In keeping with the features of a shark, our pre-assembled products look simple and elegant outside but perform vital tasks in the background displaying it to be very simple when they’re actually robust and fast.
5. Who has been your Inspiration?
Most of my inspirations have been people whom I have interacted with and learnt from in real life. My grandfather taught me to be patient, positive and humble in life. My father taught me to work hard and never give up. My teacher, Mr Dilip Ogale taught me to “learn by doing.” Mr Shailesh Sansare introduced me to frugal innovation. Mr Vinit Ajgaonkar, my homeschooling teacher and mentor, taught me to do what I love. Jeremy Blum, a young maker just like me, taught me to always set the bar high.
6. What are your future plans?
After my graduation I wish to come back to India and use technology and social entrepreneurship to solve some of the major problems our country faces in agriculture, healthcare diagnostics, education, power and transport. That’s the dream.
7. You have been to TEDx talks as a speaker, tell us about your experience.
It’s been amazing, being around people passionate about what they do, passionate about making a change, being in a very positive and hopeful community. The perks of being in that community are that your outreach widens more than you can possibly imagine. It has helped me grow as a student, an inventor, an entrepreneur and a problem solver.
8. Any messages for our readers?
One thing I emphasize on is to do what you love to do. Follow your heart and have the self-confidence to actually go ahead and do what you feel is right even when others criticize or ridicule you.
I was always criticized at local science exhibitions in which I represented my ex-school. Later on, I was lucky enough to have worked with MIT, and to have seen them respect and appreciate my work. So, the best will appreciate and encourage you even when society doesn’t appreciate your work. Keep working at it without expecting any fame or money. If work is amazing, money follows.
Moreover, work for a good cause. Build/Do things which solve problems in the real world. Share as much knowledge as you can with people you meet, on social networking sites and maybe on your own blog!
Keep learning and exploring. As kids, it’s our duty to carry on further research and social work which helps the society.
Lastly, learn by doing. Don’t accept things only because they are taught to you in books. Try out everything you get to learn from knowledge. Life’s all about exploration.
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