I first met Aditi Prasad at the SheThePeople Power Breakfast at Chennai and her fearless personality is the first thing that will strike you about her. One look at her and “robotics” wouldn’t be the thought that popped in your head! But this skilled female was a project associate at the China Studies Center at IIT Madras and a part of the Executive Education team at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, Singapore. Science has always been in her blood, ever since her dad taught her scientific concepts in fun, innovative ways and increased her outlook towards education. Today she encourages kids to find real world applications to understand the world around us. Aditi Prasad and Robotix Learning Solutions want to change the way kids imbibe science into their daily lives.
The robotics pull.
“I am passionate about education and cutting edge technology and joined the family business in robotics education.”
She is the winner of the Digital Women Awards 2016
The birth of Robotix Learning Solutions.
“Robotix Learning Solutions was started in 2009, with a mission to inspire the next generation of innovators and creators. Robotix creates robotics & coding education programmes and robots, for children to learn STEM and to develop 21st century skills, such as problem solving, creative thinking, innovation, critical & analytical thinking, communication and collaboration, skills that are deemed important and necessary in modern society. First, we teach robotics and coding, as part of in-school programmes, to children in K-12 schools in multiple cities. Second, we have after-school programs and summer camps. Third, we run an annual robotics competition called the Indian Robotix League. Fourth, we have launched an educational Robot, PHIRO for the global market – a complete Make In India product, right from ideation to manufacturing. ”
The Indian Education System and robotics- will the two ever meet?
“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) is an important driver of innovation. We provide robotics education programmes in K-12 schools by combining customized curriculum integrated into school’s programmes with innovative robotics technology from all over the world. Our programmes provide children a fun, hands-on learning experience that helps develop important 21st century skills. A change is required from within the education industry. Rote leaning is still the norm and failure to score marks is penalised heavily.”
“Phiro is a Lego® compatible robot that teaches kids how to code from age 4-18, in 5 different ways. Phiro was featured as Intel America’s greatest makers. Phiro is an ideal ed-tech product where the software- code input results in a physical output & is used to control the robot. It’s a complete Make in India product from design to manufacturing.”
The startup challenge and business mantra
” Getting schools to accept robotics as a platform. Still remains a challenge. My business mantra is be productive, not busy.”
The experience of working with a female co-founder.
“My sister, Deepti Suchindran, and I head the company. My sister and I are passionate about inspiring the innovators and creators of tomorrow .We started an initiative called Indian Girls Code: free coding and robotics program for underprivileged girls with a special focus on an all girls orphanages in India.”
Women and their representation in the tech field.
” I believe the representation of women in tech fields is growing. Stereotypes are being broken. We have a long way to go and support by women to other women can help this. ”
Advice to entrepreneurs of today
“Dream BIG. Be fearless. ”