A Chat with the Henry Ford Invention Convention Winner: Avaneesh!
UBTECH Education’s Invention Convention Winner Blog Post On July 2nd, at Invention Convention US Nationals, we awarded the coveted UBTECH AI and Robotics Award to 5th grader Avaneesh Sakvar for his invention “No Child Left Behind.” His invention is a smart seat that will alert parents via smartphone if their child is still in […]
UBTECH Education’s Invention Convention Winner Blog Post
On July 2nd, at Invention Convention US Nationals, we awarded the coveted UBTECH AI and Robotics Award to 5th grader Avaneesh Sakvar for his invention “No Child Left Behind.” His invention is a smart seat that will alert parents via smartphone if their child is still in the car seat and if the temperature inside the car becomes too hot or too cold for the child. Avaneesh was inspired after hearing of too many child deaths that resulted from neglect and wanted to come up with a solution that would prevent these deaths from happening in the future.
More students qualified for the AI and Robotics Award category than almost any other at this year’s Invention Convention US Nationals and it was UBTECH Education’s greatest pleasure to honor this award to Avaneesh. In his video, Avaneesh displayed innovation, creativity, and a depth of knowledge – all qualities that UBTECH values and believes will help contribute to the leaders of tomorrow. Avaneesh attributed a lot of his success to his STEM teacher Amy Graney and from the UBTECH team, we want to thank all of the hardworking teachers out there who work tirelessly to inspire our next generation of innovators.
After well-deserved celebrations, we caught up with Avaneesh to see what he’s been up to since US Nationals and what he has in stored for future upgrades to his invention.
What was the most difficult challenge in creating the “no child left behind” device?
To know what the most difficult part of making my invention the “No child left behind”, you have to know all the steps I took to make the invention. The first step was to understand what I want, and what the focus of the invention should be. Once I had the focus, I had to think of the basic things I would need for the invention to work. I got to work, and it was easy because all I had to do was think of the idea and what it had to do, and then I came up with a simple material list that I needed.
After I found a simple material list that can be used to execute the idea it was up to me to make a design. I had to go through so many different versions it wasn’t funny. The first thing I had to do was to connect all the wires from the sensors to the Raspberry pie. After connecting the sensors, I had to think of coding. I had to draw the flow charts and make sure that the logic would work when I coded in python. After I finished coding, I had to assemble everything – essentially fitting all the hardware into a car seat. This was where my parents came in handy the most because I don’t think I am allowed to saw wood. I needed to saw wood because I needed to put the load cell into a capsule to sense the weight so when it bent it would send out signals. Before running the code, I had to connect the raspberry pie to a keyboard, mouse and a monitor. This way I could run the code and check for the output.
Finally, it was time to see if all my hard work had paid off, which at the start I really didn’t know how it would work. A space heater that takes up a lot of energy can sometimes come in handy. I used the space heater to increase the surrounding temperature of the car seat to check if my code will send notifications to the phone. This process of making sure that the notifications were being sent was very time consuming because of the code. I had to use print command multiple times to check if the output was correct. Once I debugged the code, the correct notification was sent. Now that you know all the steps of my project the hardest step for me was making the design or model because if there was a good model we still had to test it and when we tested it wouldn’t work sometimes so I had to keep refining the design. So that was the hardest part of making my invention.
Who or what inspires you?
Well there are different people for different things that I get inspiration from. Example, for soccer it is Messi, for basketball it is Kyrie etc. But for STEM or inventing it would probably be couple people. First of all, Albert Einstein I love how he never gave up when people kept shooting him down on his ideas. After reading about him, I understood the importance of keeping focus and doing what I believe is a good idea. The next lucky person on my list is Alexander Graham bell right now I probably wouldn’t be calling my friends if it was not for him and his invention. And honestly, I think all of us can agree with that. One more person that inspires me to work harder and don’t give up is Sir. Isaac Newton because of him we know that gravity is a thing we know why things move. We know his laws of motion because of him our lives have changed. Last but not the least is my uncle. He has 25 patents and he inspires me so much not to ever give up and always try harder when things don’t work how you want them to.
What is your favorite part about inventing?
To describe my favorite part of inventing, we need to know the phases. The first phase is to think of an idea. Second, you must think of what things can help you make this idea become a reality. Third, is the time to make the model. Fourth, you evaluate or test your idea and that is where I love to evaluate and test. There is a certain excitement build up to knowing if your prototype will work or not and that feeling is the best that is why it is my favorite part of inventing things.
What did you learn about yourself while inventing the “no child left behind” device?
There were a lot of things that one can discover about themselves. “If there is a will, there is a way” a quote by William Hazlitt, has been my mantra. But it is true if you really want to know what I discovered about myself is that if I want something really bad, I will do whatever it takes in terms of effort to achieve my goal. Like for the no child left behind when I thought of this idea, I wouldn’t think it would have been this hard to make it. I said to myself though I will do anything to get what I think is right. One more thing that I realized about myself is that if one time you fail, and you try again but you think it is a stretch that does not mean you give up because this happened to me. When I was in 3rd grade, I went to invention convention and then to the state finals but I did not qualify for the nationals and I was really sad but when I came to 5th grade I did not let that get in my way of trying. So, the biggest lesson I learned was don’t give up if something is a reach and you didn’t do too well first time. That’s what I learned or discovered about myself when I made the “No Child Left Behind” invention.
How do you think AI and robotics will change in the future?
Well the possibilities are infinite but some of the main things I think will be to take over other jobs that robots can do better and once people know that robots can do better than them, they can make their own robots to do their simple jobs like grocery stores cashiers but they still get paid for it because they made their own robots. One more way they could help people were if some people were disabled then a robot can be like their own bodyguard and helper. Also if someone was mute or deaf or blind, our robots would be able to communicate better than any human could with the person. Robots could be the new generation of helping people who are disabled or have lost some of their senses. This one might be a stretch but ubering people around from place to place it is a possibility. There is one more example, like my invention, saves children who are left behind in cars, maybe someday Robots might be able to save people’s life at the time of need such as saving people from drowning in a storm, getting people out of a burning fire etc. Robots could also be used as police in high speed chase. Those are somethings that AI and Robotics will look like in future.
Do you have any other projects you are working on or plan to work on in the future?
Yes, I have one invention I made before it was to help cars get out of something like sand snow or ice when the cars were stuck this had actually worked and helped one of my neighbors when their car turned on. And I might also make some more inventions in the future, but I want to make this one the best.
What do you want to do when you are older?
That is a tough question but probably medicine or engineering or something in the medical field or a corporate lawyer. I want to do those things because I love building and inventing, and I love helping people and I have heard so many great things about lawyers.
What advice would you recommend to other kids interested in STEM?
Well I would say that if you are really interested in STEM then identify which area do you like and suppose they say the building part of STEM then I would tell them how to get prepared by starting to build legos or kiwico kits or in fact UBTECH JIMU or UKITs. Then I would say order one of these and see how you do. If you like it keep doing it if you don’t maybe you like something else. Also remember that you need to focus on math and coding if you really want to do well in STEM.
Join us in congratulating Avaneesh in his great invention and future inventions!