i3 - March/April 2018 - 8

Women In Tech

Tomorrow's Innovators


diti Prasad, COO and CIO of Robotix Learning
Solutions, is on a mission to inspire and educate
young girls and boys how to code and develop
solutions for real-world challenges. By harnessing the power of robotics, coding, STEM and Makerspaces
- she aims to make school education more interactive and
is promoting technical pathways that lead to better careers
for girls in India. Ford Motor Company and Cisco Systems
are also working with Robotix. Previously, she worked at
the China Studies Center at the Indian Institute of
Technology Madras, attended law school at the Indian
Law Society's Law College in Pune, and earned her master's degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Q Can you talk about Robotix?
A We started Robotix in 2009 and we have

been teaching robotics, coding and STEM in
K-12 schools all over India. In 2014, we
realized there was a gap in the market in
terms of the kind of toys that were available.
We launched on Kickstarter and were
successfully funded. Our aim is to bring really
fun, tangible coding toys for kids of all ages.

Q Can you talk about Indian Girls that Code?
A We started Indian Girls that Code at an

Lego Mindstorms, so they are
already little creators and little
innovators. They are coming to us
and saying that they want to be
engineers when they grow up. They
want to create toys like this so they
can make an impact for more girls in
their communities.

Q Why aren't more girls pursuing
STEM education?

A In our experience, it is parental

bias, at least in India, where you
would send your son to robotics class
and send your daughter to music
class. These are the
challenges that we had in
getting STEM kicked off,
especially as an after
school program. In school
where the ratio is about
50/50 - boys and girls,
we would not have a
problem because it would
be part of the school
curriculum and they
would learn together. But
if you make it optional, the
whole picture drastically
changes. We are trying to
slowly immerse it into the
-COO and CIO of Robotix
regular school curriculum
Learning Solutions
so they are learning
robotics through regular
school subjects.


all-girls orphanage in a small city in the
southern part of India. These girls were
from a really harsh background - some of
their parents were prisoners or they were
victims of domestic abuse. We wanted to
give these girls 21st century STEM skills
that would set them apart in the future.
We start with kids as young as four years,
and we stay with them every year until they
finish school. Our dream is to tie up with the corporate
world and universities to really change their lives.

Q How are the girls reacting to this program?
A Kids love playing. They are having so much fun with it.

These kids have been learning with Scratch or playing with

Q What advice would you give
to other women entrepreneurs?

A Two words - risk taking. It's

a difficult path to take. It has its own
challenges but take risks, dream big
and live fearlessly.

Q What was your experience in Eureka Park at CES?
A We launched two tangible, coding screen-free toys at CES: TACO Playbits and TACO Robobricks.
We want to get kids as young as four excited about coding. They don't need an iPad, mobile
device or laptop. We have little coding chips and a magical wand, so you tap the code in using the
sequence that you want to create. The physical structure is Lego Duplo mega blocks-compatible
so we give you sensors like motors, touch sensors, IR sensors and color sensors that you add on to
a Duplo creation, and once you tap the code into the remote control to play it, your creation comes
to life. It's basically getting them to understand how hardware and software interplay.



CAROL STANINGER is an 83 year
old entrepreneur who invented
a device to prevent hot car deaths.
Her creation, SaveOurLovedOnes,
alerts drivers and pedestrians that
a small child, senior citizen, person
with disabilities or a pet is inadvertently left inside a parked vehicle.
Carol exhibited at Eureka Park at CES
2018 and is now in negotiations with
three major automotive companies.

Q Who inspired you to
develop a prototype?

A I had a great mentor and it does

make a difference. I was concerned
with babies dying in cars. That is
such a tragic thing. I contacted CMS
Sports in Clearwater - who help
people develop products - and
they liked the idea. We found
a company in Scandinavia that made
the sensor and miniaturized it with
the help of a great team of engineers.

Q How long did it take?
A It took 16 months. It was very fast.
Q What lessons have you learned?
A Don't give up. Success is not
always for the young. Sometimes
you have to wait a long time for
success to come through. It was
a great satisfaction to be at CES
and show the product to the world.

Q Any advice for

younger entrepreneurs?

A Let your imagination fly.

Don't miss an opportunity -
if you have an idea go for it.

Q Where do you see
yourself in five years?

A I would like to see

SaveOurLovedOnes in every
car around the world so there
will no longer be any more
deaths due to hot cars.


http://robotixedu.com/ http://robotixedu.com/ http://saveourlovedones.com/ http://robotixedu.com/indian-girls-code/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2018

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