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.’’
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.