Interview of Susant Pattnaik who has won 6 President Awards at the age of just 22 years
“To raise new questions , new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle , requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science” said Albert Einstein. This quote aptly suits a person whose thirst for knowledge, technology and science has made him achieve great heights. Susant Pattnaik , 22 years of age, has been awarded 6 President Awards for his amazing contributions to Science and Technology in India. Here is an intercept of the interview with the man himself talking about his work.
(Q) How was your childhood? How did your passion for technology develop?
(A) I was born in Bhubaneswar. My childhood was quite boring.. My father once brought home a remote-controlled car for me and rather than playing with it, I got curious about how it worked. How did the current flow from the battery and move a car which is controlled by a remote? Being a curious child, I poked it open and laid out all the circuitry. Though I couldn’t have known the deep science behind it, I was obviously intrigued. My father stopped bringing electronic toys then (laughs).
That was the birth of my passion for technology.
(Q) Tell us something more about your journey towards being an innovator? What drove you?
(A) From a very young age I was keenly interested in science and technology. Once when my parents were not home, I tried to hack the TV and got a shock; that was the time when I came to know that the capacitor stored electricity. When I was in the ninth grade, I invented a new proof concept for a home security system. The system is made of a laser beam that surrounds the house from all sides. If a thief crosses through the laser beam, a shutter will rise from the ground and will stop the thief from escaping.
In tenth standard I went to a hospital with my father and saw a disabled person asking for help from a nurse. I realized that there should be something to assist differently-abled people in becoming independent on at least some day-to-day acts. So I thought of developing a gadget which could move the wheelchair taking actions according to the breathing pressure of the user. A strong and quick breath, for example, could serve as a sign for ‘no’.
“ One day, I went to a hospital with my father and saw a disabled person asking for help from a nurse. I realized that there should be something to assist differently-abled people. So I developed a gadget which could move the wheelchair taking actions according to the breathing pressure of the user. ”
– Susant Pattnaik
(Q) Tell us more about this innovation?
(A) I used to compare the characteristics of a healthy person and a especially-abled person. Since brain is a complex and intricate entity to work with, I thought of using the physical energy of breathing, a common denominator in all. Thus, the breathing pattern would work as a remote for the wheelchair of the client. I won a President award for this innovation. ButI feel that my biggest achievement is that this came to be a huge help for the specially abled.
(Q) What are your achievements? Please tell us about the awards and rewards you got.
(A) I am an awardee of 6 President Awards. I have received awards from The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) Committee; the recognition from the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) was my first grand achievement and step towards success as an innovator. I feel that my main achievement is that the innovations are helpful for the targeted people.
(Q) How was your experience in NASA?
(A) It was something heavenly. Everything there is like a dream. There is nothing that can’t be invented there.
(Q) You have made a protective instrument for women, to aid them in fighting against any harasser. Can you elaborate on that?
(A) Raksha band is the gadget designed for this purpose. The user can activate a loud siren as well as crank up heat to about 350-400F, which can be used to fight off the perpetrator. Also, with the press of another button on the band, the nearest police station can be contacted. We are still working on the designing of the Raksha band to make it more presentable and appealing.
(Q) What do you think about the today’s environment for innovating?
(A) Students must have a deep spirit for innovating. They must prioritize their interests while keeping in tandem with their academics, as they must learn the basics in order to produce results in the form of innovations. It is all about a passion for doing something new. Also, innovation may be as simple as can be. It need not be a complex entity, simply something useful to the targeted mass.
The Optimist Citizen congratulates Sushant for all his achievements.
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