Published: 03rd June 2021
This 11-year-old built a robot to send food, meds to his COVID positive sister, sans contact
Saksham's quarantine helper can carry food and medicines from the caregiver to the patient's room without human intervention. He tells us how
Even when people are under quarantine or home isolation after being infected by the Coronavirus, there is still a high risk for their family members who act as caregivers. People do follow doctor's advice and try to maintain as much distance as possible, however, in cases where families are living in cramped spaces or even in one-room flats, it becomes quite difficult.
To solve this issue to a certain extent, this 11-year-old from Delhi has come up with a unique robot that will serve food to patients under home quarantine. A student of Class 7 at Delhi's Sanskriti School, Saksham Mathur's Quarantine Helper can carry food and medicines from the caregiver to the patient's room without human intervention.
"My sister was in quarantine and my mother kept a table outside her door, where she kept every meal on a regular basis as she couldn't go inside my sister's room. However, there was always a risk of infection even when we try to come up with ways to maintain distance inside our house. That's how I came up with the idea of the quarantine helper. I wanted to create a robot with a simple mechanism where you could place a plate filled with food or even medicines and send it to the person in isolation. There would be no human touch or you wouldn't have to go manually and give food or medicines to the person infected," explains Saksham.
It took him around two days to create the robot. "I created the base first and then did the coding. I had joined a few courses in the previous year and that helped with learning coding and robotics. Initially, I used to attend an after school course and from there began my robotics journey," shares the 11-year-old. These courses were done at Avishkaar, which is known for its STEM robotics kits, accessories and online courses for children.
The quarantine helper has two infrared sensors on it, one takes it forward and the other backward. Saksham is yet to improvise on the prototype to make it go in other directions. You have to put the plate of food or medicine on the helper and press or just bring your hand in front of the IR sensor to make it go forward in a straight line, once it reaches the person they can pick up the food and medicines and press the other IR sensor and it returns to its starting point.
He wants to become a mechanical engineer when he grows up, says Saksham. The 11-year-old plans to create an automatic fan after this, which will switch on when a person enters a room. He also has plans to improve the quarantine helper prototype, in order to make it market-ready.