A 17-YO Kerala boy builds a robot for Rs 10,000 to help his struggling mother with household chores

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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. 

A 17-YO Kerala boy builds a robot to help his struggling mother with household chores

Android Pathooty was inspired by a robot that cost Rs 3-4 lakhs, and was being used as a waiter in a restaurant.

Chathoth first got the idea when he along with his family were at a restaurant in Kannur and saw that they were being served by a basic humanoid robot. 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.

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To start of with his own Robot, which they have named Android Pathooty, after a Malayalam film named 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 the system they were using.

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

“There is no direct information available on the Internet about putting together a robot. 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.

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Within a year, Shiyad came up with a basic model by fixing a plastic stool and an aluminium platform under it with four tyres. 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 which can rotate 180 degrees. As of now, the robot is only able to take and serve food from the kitchen to the dining table. However, it is a completely automated system. All one needs to do, is to load Android Pathooty with a tray of food, and it makes its way to the table based on a predefined path, that has been marked with black tape.

The robot is controlled by an ultrasonic sensor. Additionally, a mobile application has been developed through the MIT app and Admega MicroController. It can work both manually and automatically as well as carry a load of up to 6 kg. 

A 17-YO Kerala boy builds a robot to help his struggling mother with household chores (1)

Android Pathooty uses a plastic stool and an aluminium platform under it with four tyres, and a 12-volt gear with a motor for movement.

“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 that the total 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 of launching a robotics and automation startup someday, 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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