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Muhammed Shiyad Chathoth, a 17-year-old class 12 Computer Science student from Kerala, has invented a working robot to help his struggling mother around the house with some household chores.

Chathoth first got the idea when he and his family were at a restaurant in Kannur and saw that a basic humanoid robot was serving them. He was 14 back then and heard his mother exclaim if only she had a robot like that who could help her out with her work around the house.

Chathoth has always been a tech enthusiast and has been very handy with automation. In an interview, Chathoth claims that he had developed a mobile application to control lights, fans, and every other electrical device in the house. Therefore, he was confident about this robot project too.

To start with his Robot, which they have named Android Pathooty, after a Malayalam film called Android Kunjappan, Chathoth asked the restaurant about the machine at the same restaurant and was told that it cost Rs 3-4 lakh to order one. However, they did not have any technical details about their system.

Since buying a robot that would be this expensive wasn’t an option, he started researching and soon discovered that there were several cost-effective ways of building such a system.

“There is no direct information about putting together a robot on the Internet. But I noticed that the machine in the restaurant was following a fixed path. My research led me to find many videos that explained this tech,” says the 17-year-old.

Within a year, Shiyad developed a basic model by fixing a plastic stool and an aluminum platform under it with four tires. A 12-volt gear with a motor was used for the movement. But he faced several challenges to convert it into a human-like robot.

The upper half of the Robot is a female mannequin that can rotate 180 degrees. Currently, the Robot can only take and serve food from the kitchen to the dining table. However, it is an entirely automated system. All one needs to do, is load Android Pathooty with a tray of food, and it makes its way to the table based on a predefined path marked with black tape.

An ultrasonic sensor controls the Robot. A mobile application has been developed through the MIT app and Admega MicroController. It can work manually and automatically and carry a load of up to 6 kg.

“The distance from the kitchen to the dining hall in our home is slightly longer than usual. Sareena, Shiyad’s mother, always complains about this, especially during mornings when everybody is running late for school and work. Now Pathooty moves to and fro to serve us food and other things. Also, it reminds us about my mother’s medicines and even serves them to her,” says Abdul Rahman, Shiyad’s father.

Shiyad says the cost of building the Robot was less than Rs 10,000. “It could have been cheaper, but since I did it as an experiment, there were too many failures and re-purchases,” he adds.

The teenager hopes to launch a robotics and automation startup along with a few of his classmates. “We are hoping to get a patent for Android Pathooty and come up with new ideas in home automation in the future. Also, my greatest dream is to study engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in any city,” he said.

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