To avoid getting an earful from his mother over spilled juice, 10-year-old Arman Gupta invented ‘The Mopping Machine’, a remote-controlled cleaning device for wet surfaces.
On spilling juice on the floor, how would you expect a 10-year old to react? Furtively cleaning up the mess or confessing and apologising are the two scenarios that come to mind. Young Arman Gupta, instead, was inspired. Playing a part similar to the apple in Sir Isaac Newton’s life, this incident got Arman thinking about the possibility of creating a remote-controlled cleaning machine.
He tells me, “I got scared that my mother would scold me. I looked around for a vacuum cleaner and realised it is meant for dry dust — there was nothing for wet surfaces. This got me thinking.”
And this was the beginning of Arman’s journey of innovation. Today, this class-V student has become the youngest innovator to showcase a creation at the Somaiya Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory (RIIDL’s) ‘Maker Mela’ in January this year.
Arman has always been interested in robotics and his games involved mechanics, small toys with different devices. Looking at his enthusiasm, his parents Manishi and Nitin Gupta enrolled him in an incubation design lab situated in his school, Somaiya Vidyavihar, Mumbai.
“During my Diwali holidays I was getting bored, so I would go the design lab and work there with the mentors at the incubation centre. I would spend the whole day there,” Arman explains.
Post the holidays, Arman continued his visit to the centre after his classes.
A typical day for Arman begins with getting ready for school at 6 am, after finishing which at 3 pm, he visits incubation centre, working until 7 pm. Once back home, he studies for over an hour and a half, going to sleep latest by 9:30 pm. Further, he devotes his weekends completely to the innovation centre.
Not at all exhausted by all the work he puts in, Arman wishes to connect with investors when he has a more evolved machine on his hands.
Presently, however, his biggest distraction and challenge is his six-year-old brother who breaks his “gadgets.”
Arman’s innovation, called The Mopping Machine, is designed to clean and simultaneously mop surfaces dry.
With detachable sponges, the machine can be customised for different surfaces — under the table, the floor, and corners. Further, the mobile nature of the machine makes maintenance easy.
“This can be used as a mopping machine in every household, office, or even the streets. It can also play a vital role in Prime Minister Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and reduce manual labour,” he says.
To understand the problems and challenges related to the manual work required in cleaning, Arman spoke to various domestic helpers. He began this project in November and completed it within a span of a month.
Earlier, Arman has had the opportunity to showcase another invention at an exhibition in Kolkata, where he was among the top five innovators.
Through Maker Mela, an event for grassroots innovators from India, Arman hopes to connect with potential investors and corporates who can help him scale his “basic” model and make his device a more “consumer durable product.”
Innovators attending the Maker Mela range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, engineers, artists, members from science clubs, students, and even commercial exhibitors. Arman is the youngest innovator there.
We wish the young lad the very best and look forward to seeing what the scientist in the making comes up with next.