A child prodigy, Sai Pranav Gandhi who is in an unusual field- Lego robotics – is one of the speakers for the fourth edition of TEDxPanaji to be held on March 8. NT KURIOCITY spoke to the ten-year-old for more details

RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT KURIOCITY

Ten-year-old Sai Pranav Gandhi is like any other child of his age- bubbly and full of energy. But what sets him apart from most others is his love for and unique achievements in the field of Lego robotics.
Indeed, the youngster developed an interest in Lego robotics at the tender age of five when he was gifted a Lego Technic set. Thereafter as his interest developed further he and his father, Saieesh Gandhi, began researching more about Lego Mindstorms and Lego robots.
And by the age of seven, Sai Pranav had already started building robots. He then went on to conduct his first workshop on ‘toys and robots I built’ for kids and has never looked back since, winning multiple awards at robotics competitions and Lego leagues at the regional and national level. He has now begun his exciting journey in the field of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
One of the speakers for the upcoming fourth edition of TEDxPanaji, the young robotics enthusiast will be speaking about all the toys and robots that he built, how he started his journey and how he builds gadgets to solve the problems that he faces. For instance, he has built a balloon pump to blow balloons.
But despite running around for competitions and making time for his hobbies such drawing, playing football, reading books, a student of class 4 at Sharada Mandir School, Miramar, Sai Pranav balances his studies quite well. “I have a lot of time because I do not sleep in the afternoon. I usually do my robotics work in the afternoon and in the night I do my studies,” he says, adding that his favourite subjects are maths and biology and engineering. “I like maths because it is so much fun to calculate and find answers. And maths also helps me to control robots.”
In fact, his father Saieesh says that the kind of maths Sai Pranav is learning is not taught in class. But he is learning it because he needs them to control his robots. “Now he is learning maths and science in a fun way right now. Later on when he studies he will enjoy and there won’t be any fear of maths in his mind. Most people fear maths because they don’t know where to use those maths concepts that they are learning.”
And Sai Pranav who wants to be an inventor in the future is very focused in whatever he sets his mind to, says Saieesh. “If he gets a new toy, he will sit with it for the next one or two days till he finishes it. If he is reading a Harry Potter book, the next two days he will only be reading it and finish it. This is kind of passion he has if he applies his mind to it.”
What also becomes apparent is that the youngster has had very supportive parents right from the start. “Every child has potential, provided you give them the right opportunity. They are curious and they ask you questions. It is our job, to fulfil their curiosity, to give them toys or anything that is intellectually stimulating,” says Saieesh, adding that they ensure that they do this in Sai Pranav’s case. “Whenever we travel we always visit the museums there and whichever toy we buy there is some learning in it, whichever mobile game he plays there is a kind of logic or learning from there. We ensure that whenever he has free time there is some learning happening. I think that is a very important role that parents play,” adds Saieesh.