The country’s first engineering institution for children is proving to be an educational blessing for 10th grader Syed Shayon Khaled, who has always lacked an outlet for his talents with electronics and robotics.
Catering to the interests of young minds, “The Tech Lab” teaches students to develop computer games, applications, robots and various other gadgets.
Shayon hopes the startup can develop his own potential for inventing.
“Imagine waking up in the morning and having something assist you with household chores, wouldn’t life be easier?” he said.
In The Tech Lab’s department for research and development, students can work on different real life technology projects. Shayon is part of a group developing the prototype of a robot called Durbar, which is now in its second version.
“The robot can only walk in open spaces, pick up things, and can move with that from one place to another for now, but it will be able to do all activities once it is ready,” said Shayon, who wishes to be a roboticist.
Shafiur Ibne Sakib, another youngster at the lab, hopes to become a scientist so that he can establish a science school in a remote village in Bangladesh.
“I expect the school to provide various technological training to help village children make inventions,” he said. “With this hope, I am learning science and technological education from the lab.”
The story behind The Tech Lab
Neloy Hossain Anik founded The Tech Lab in 2015 with lofty ambitions; he wanted to reinvent the education system and bring technological advancement all over Bangladesh and the world.
“Children want to make robots and, if possible, rockets, but they do not know who to approach for help,” Neloy said.
A former engineering student himself, Neloy put his own education on hold after dreaming up the idea of The Tech Lab.
He opened the centre in 2015 with only five children, but now delivers technology education to three times as many students aged from six to 14.
“(I want) to develop this lab as a full-fledged engineering institution in the future so that every child can make technological invention, and every single person in the country can know about technology, digitalization, gadget and science,” Neloy said.
By 2016, the project had been selected as one of the top 100 startups in Asia by E27.
An ambitious future
With the training obtained from the lab, Shayon has also developed a gadget called “Mind Wave Detector” with fellow tenth grader, Abu Nafiz Mohammad Nur.
The budding inventors claim it can locate the mental frequency of human beings as they engage in tasks.
“When a person wants to do a job, like switching on the light in a room, first the person will press the switch and the brain will receive this as a message,” Shayon said.
“The Mind Wave Detector gadget can locate these frequencies and can help turn the light on by itself. It is the biggest milestone this year for us as we have already finished the initial work to make the gadget.”
They are currently working with robots to create new features in the hopes of developing a household robot that will be able to do all household chores within the next four to five years.
Neloy was full of praise for Shayon and Nur, who are two of the older students at the lab.
“Shayon is now an apprentice in the lab as he can teach students with technical knowledge, and guide them with various other tasks,” Neloy said.