15-yr-old innovator shows why dropping out of school is not a bad idea

YourStory has profiled many  young people who drop out of college to pursue their dreams, but Angad Daryani brings a new twist.  He dropped out of school in class IX  to expand his horizons beyond school curriculum. Angad recently gave a talk at TEDx Gateway about how leaving school has been a big boon.

When he was eight, Angad first built a robot using the Lego Mindstorm, and  has been developing and innovating things since then.

Though Angad  left  school midway, he is  home schooling and appeared for high school board exams last year from ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education), IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling). For most students it is  difficult to appear for a single board exam, let alone three.  Angad says the exams helped him  extend his knowledge and gain exposure.



Projects and Inventions

Angad has developed a lot of projects, including a solar-powered boat (when he was about 10 years old), Garduino, an automated gardening system which lights up and waters plants  (a great use in green houses), and hand gesture-controlled vehicle among others. He has developed a Virtual Braille (in collaboration with MIT media Labs) along with his team which enables people to read e-books without depending on the mechanical voice.

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At present most  3D printers in the market do not have a long shelf life and break down after a few months of usage mainly due to blockage of the extruder (nozzle clog). Angad is  working on a 3D printer to solve this problem and also bring costs down (most 3D printers cost upwards of 50K, including procurement costs). He recently 3D printed a 3D printer.


An all rounder

Angad may come across as a nerd  but he  surprised us when he revealed  that he was  part of India’s best school level football team at Don Bosco International School, Matunga, Mumbai, before he left school.

Responding to  a question on how leaving school has affected his life, Angad says he now gets more time to pursue his interests and actively reads on economics and literature.  According to him,  in school  reading is  very selective and curriculum bound.  Now he  reads voraciously and even watches world cinema, learns programming and do many other things.  I have learned more after leaving school,”  claims Angad.


Startup plans

Angad is also the founder of Shark Kits, a DIY kit company, which aims to give quality kits at considerably cheap rates compared to its American counterparts (Make, Jameco, Sparkfun, Adafruit, etc).  At present, it is a one-man venture. He is also the co-founder of Makers Asylums, which provides an environment for collaborative ideation with prototyping tools and a physical space where you can come and create things and work on ideas.


Vision about future

Angad says he wants to keep learning and give back as much as possible to  society –he keeps his projects open source.  He says he learned everything from the internet and feels  the best way he can give back is by keeping his projects open source. When it comes to schooling, he believes, segregating students  based on their age  is not correct. “It defeats the exact point of schooling.”

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About the author

A Software Engineer by education, Aditya has been a Workshop Consultant with The Times of India and later on was a Cloud developer with CSC India Pvt. Ltd. Apart from coding, he has a keen interest in analyzing stock market movements and often forgets the outer world once he starts reading. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter at @adi_bhushan. You can reach out to him at".

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