An Innovator and change maker by passion and Grade 10 student by profession | Vedant Harlalka

Updated: Jun 10



My journey started in the 5th grade when I decided to make a YouTube channel and review gadgets. I was inspired by people who would speak ­­confidently in front of the camera and review products. In the process of making YouTube videos, I learnt filming, editing and scripting of projects along with narrating an impactful story around them. My channel has over 30,000 views now!


During my 6th grade, I learned about “Arduino”. Arduino is basically a programmable circuit board that you can include in a circuit along with sensors to make machines and innovations. This is a skill that is easy to get started with but takes a lifetime to master. It helps you make a concept into reality! Over the next 3 years, I made several projects using Arduino. I highly recommend this skill to everyone.


As the pandemic came around, 2 of my seniors and I found a critical problem. Touching hand sanitizer bottles at grocery stores, etc. cause unnecessary contact and might lead to the spread of the virus. To solve the problem, we designed and prototyped an automatic hand sanitizer machine at a nominal cost. This made it accessible to many during these hard times. The Hindustan Times recognized their efforts.

3D printing technology is in a nascent stage with great potential to grow exponentially in the fields of medical, manufacturing, construction, and rapid prototyping. I needed one for the prototyping of the chassis of IoT projects. Despite the high cost of the technology, Ukshaan (a classmate) and me were able to develop one in 9th grade made with recycled materials such as DVD drives instead of the traditional Nema 17 motors. This brought down the cost of a 3D printer to 1/3 its market price.


This is my biggest breakthrough as yet and has been recognized by over 10 newspapers and magazines! There were many days where I would sit troubleshooting in the morning and not even realize how time flew by. I would be shocked that it was time for dinner when I got up. At times, things didn’t seem to work out but we kept on trying. Consistency is key! With each other’s constant motivation, we managed to achieve a price point below $100.


Pratham(a classmate) and I made a 3-minute video on Circular Cities and Waste Management for the Study Australia Video Competition. We used skills like advanced video editing, Solidworks and animation to give a good representation of the idea of a pyrolytic plant we designed. The University of Western Australia sent an Email acknowledging and appreciating the efforts put in by us into the project.


Also, I have received the Ifortis ‘Rising Star of 2021’ award. I was also a National-level finalist at “Innoventure” and competed with the top 30 minds of India at VIT Pune. Also, I secured the silver medal in the “Asset Talent Search”. I learnt a lot being on the of the Technical Team at Immaculata as a core member!


I am currently working with Neuralix, which is a company that deals with Brain-Computer interfaces ((BCIs) to acquire brain signals, analyze them, and translate them into commands that are relayed to output devices that carry out desired actions.) and aims to make it more accessible in India.


I was one of the keynote speakers at the Global Youth Education Summit where I spoke about “Education Reimagined in India”. I also make sure that I focus on my studies and consistently hold the general proficiency award for securing good grades at school. Apart from this, I love to talk about his journey and spread his passion in the field via articles, talk shows, and podcasts!


Tech Nuttiez Magazine is a DIY technology magazine for young makers accessible through a mobile app and website. It has been specially crafted for schools and universities. I write for the “How it works” section of the magazine. Every month, I write an article on the working of different IoT sensors.


I enjoy. Apart from studies and work, I am an avid cyclist and put 50-60kms on my bike daily. I am a part of C3B where I work with the bicycle mayor of Mumbai towards the collective goal of making Mumbai India’s cycling capital by 2030. On weekend, I go on leisure rides with the SoboRiders and explore the hidden gems of the city.


For all those who want to get started with technology, I’d say they’re two broadsides:- Mechatronics and pure Computer Science. For those interested in building apps, websites, etc. do the CS50 course on edx.org. It’s free and the hands-down best. If you want to get started with creating robots, IoT devices etc. start off with buying an Arduino UNO. They’re plenty of free tutorials available to learn the various sensors. If you master this skill, it’ll serve as a tool to convert your ideas into a reality.


Always remember, time is an investment. Start now because as with any good investment, you wish you had invested more. As you progress further in your field, you will make many connections and develop bonds with many people. Master writing crisp cold messages and emails. It may mean the difference between getting the opportunity or losing it. Connections are one of the biggest assets one can have and should never be undervalued. It will pay you back time and again in many unexpected ways. Happy tinkering :)

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