NRG duo ready Ahmedabad kids for global robotics competitions

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AHMEDABAD: It was exactly three years ago when Nimish go when Nimish Shah, an IT expert based in California, US, and his son Shalin, then 14, had come to the city and had decided to engage with the local student community. Shalin, at that time, had already been captain of RoboKnights, one of the winning teams of 2013 Robotics FIRST Tech Challenge of Northern California, and it was the duo’s dream to warm up the local student community to the exciting world of robo tics. “We have been working for three years with various schools and institutions like Ahmedabad University (AU) and IEEE to fulfil the dream. We are happy by the response we are getting,” said Nimish on Sunday, when four teams of robotics got engaged in a competition following international rules at AU.
According to him, it is the first sure step towards making Ahmedabad the fifth city in India having its own FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) tournaments that amalgamates mathematics, science, computer programming and above all thinking out of the box.Every year, thousands of teams participate in regional, national and international competitions. “We brought in kits and altoured a number of schools so toured a number of schools in the city , talking about the concept and how to assemble programmable robots through Lego-like blocks. We have also found great mentors in Jaina Mehta and Dhruv Gupta, members of AU and IEEE respectively, who form the formidable support system to sustain it, while we would be in the US,” said Shalin.
Shalin has already raised funds in the US to bring the kits for the initiative and has also provided curriculum in form of teaching material, videos and online resources for the students. “The programme across the world is run by enthusiastic volunteers and we believe that parents would take up the mantle once the programme finds its feet,” said Nimish.
“We are committed to the cause and we will visit Ahmedabad on a yearly basis and engage them online to prepare them for tournaments in India,” he said.
“We hope that a team will be ready within a year,” said Nimish.

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