Kerala teacher leading children on road to innovation

Sunil Paul, who hails from Chemperi in Kannur, declined many lucrative job offers from abroad after securing the first rank in MTech from SRM University, Chennai, in robotics.

Published: 08th January 2022 06:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2022 06:55 AM   |  A+A-

Sunil paul and his students during a visit to China to attend RoboRAVE asia competition | Express

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Sunil Paul, who hails from Chemperi in Kannur, declined many lucrative job offers from abroad after securing the first rank in MTech from SRM University, Chennai, in robotics. Instead, he chose to work with young minds to develop new concepts by providing them with hands-on training. He chose a teacher’s job and set up his own company, accompanied by students. 

“I come from a very remote village in Kannur. When I was entering college, learning robotics was beyond imagination for me. I was interested in repairing electronic goods and after schooling, chose mechanical engineering for BTech. I picked robotics for my masters. My teachers there offered me research opportunities in foreign countries, but I opted to teach. While teaching at Vimal Jyothi Engineering College, I found that my students needed better exposure so I started taking them to outdoor events and competitions,” said Sunil.

Slowly, students from everywhere started attending his workshops. His teaching methods gained popularity. Eventually, he set up a robotics company in Pathadipalam, Kochi titled ‘Srishti Robotics’ along with his students. In 2014, he started working with Muthoot Engineering College in Ernakulam and started the Muthoot Innovation centre. He observed that many younger children were at par with engineering students when it came to knowledge and skill, and started training them too.

“There were instances where schoolchildren beat college students in competitions. Later, I resigned from my job as a lecturer and moved on to Choice School in Kochi, and set up an innovation and design lab. There, students from Class V onwards get at least one period weekly to develop their creative thinking. Selected students from Classes III and IV also used to attend lab sessions once a week. The kids I trained won prizes in a robotics competition held in China,” he added.

Sunil and his students developed robots that were useful in the Covid wards, supporting the frontline warriors. These robots were used to carry food to the patients. They are now developing technology that can identify people with a criminal history, so as to exclude them from public gatherings. “Kids learn more while competing and doing things first-hand. Even if you lose a contest, you will understand how the winner made it,” Sunil said.


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