Mecha­tronic mae­stro

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Young in­ven­tor So­hail Ab­dulla has re­turned home from the United States bear­ing an award for his in­ge­nious robotic win­dow cleaner.

The 17-year-old fea­tured in the Cen­tral Leader last month ahead of his de­par­ture to Phoenix, Arizona, to at­tend the pres­ti­gious In­tel ISEF com­pe­ti­tion.

He was the sole Kiwi rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the com­pe­ti­tion which at­tracted 1500 en­tries.

How­ever, his in­ven­tion was a stand­out and earned the Mt Roskill res­i­dent third place in the en­gi­neer­ing: elec­tri­cal and me­chan­i­cal di­vi­sion.

The hum­ble teenager was even fea­tured on Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion net­work FOX News where he told the re­porter ‘‘the main idea of this is to de­velop it for high rise build­ings’’.

The idea for the ro­bot was ini­tially con­ceived when So­hail saw his fa­ther, who suf­fers back and knee pain, strug­gling to clean the win­dows.

The ro­bot works by slowly crawl­ing across win­dows squirt­ing glass cleaner and ‘‘squeegee­ing’’ it off.

He de­vel­oped the pro­to­type in his Mt Roskill Gram­mar tech­nol­ogy class un­der the guid­ance of his teacher, Bill Col­lis.

Mr Col­lis nom­i­nated him for the Skills Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Bright Sparks com­pe­ti­tion.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion put So­hail for­ward for the Royal So­ci­ety’s Re­alise the Dream com­pe­ti­tion where he won the US Ambassador’s Award and the op­por­tu­nity to travel to Phoenix.

So­hail says the jour­ney has been un­be­liev­able.

‘‘I will cher­ish th­ese mo­ments for the rest of my life and I hope to share my ex­pe­ri­ences with the next In­tel ISEF fi­nal­ist from New Zealand,’’ he says.

The stu­dent plans to con­tinue per­fect­ing his robotic glass cleaner and start a busi­ness in the fu­ture.

‘‘I con­stantly have many dif­fer­ent ideas for mecha­tronic projects, from au­to­matic wheel­chairs de­signed for bro­ken stairs in thirdworld coun­tries to a laser fly or mos­quito-killing ma­chine.’’

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Bright spark: So­hail Ab­dulla is back from the United States where he won an award for his robotic win­dow cleaner.

Visit cen­tral­leader.co.nz and click Lat­est Edi­tion to watch So­hail as fea­tured on FOX News.

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