What does one expect from a regular 12-year-old kid? That he’ll attend school, finish homework, play with his friends and do other things that kids of his age do. But, did we say Abhishek Bhagat was a regular kid?
Abhishek from Bhagalpur (Bihar) invented a time bomb at this young age, by using a torch, an alarm clock, and a firecracker. This “destructive” innovation scared his family so much that he was sent to a boarding school. Here, he studied science and animation.
Now 21, Abhishek still spends the majority of his time thinking about new and creative solutions to problems. His latest and the most successful innovation is an automatic food-making machine, which leaves everybody spellbound
The machine, RoboCook (previously called Kitchen King), is a saviour for anybody wanting to have home-cooked food, but with the lack of time or art for the same. All one has to do is to select a recipe and feed the ingredients, following which the machine will take care of everything else as one sits back and relaxes.
“The idea occurred a long time back when my mother fell ill and I had to step in her shoes. While repeating the same steps every time, I wondered if these could be recorded and programmed into a machine to automate the process. This way, we could have delicious food automatically,” he recalls.
RoboCook is a simple electronic machine. A unique e-recipe card is used to select the type and quantity of the dish to be cooked. There are separate cards for different items. Once the card is inserted, the machine automatically takes the required ingredients (according to the card) and cooks the dish as per the recipe fed.
It has eight designated compartments/boxes where a user can feed various ingredients for a recipe. Ingredients fed in these compartments later fall into a central container according to the pre-defined timing and sequence in the recipe card. The machine reads the programmed recipe card and accordingly cooks food.compartments/boxes where a user can feed various ingredients for a recipe.
Ingredients fed in these compartments later fall into a central container according to the pre-defined timing and sequence in the recipe card. The machine reads the programmed recipe card and accordingly cooks food.
The machine also has a display which shows the information about different ingredients which need to be put in containers prior the cooking. Once done with all the setting up and feeding of ingredients, the user may sit back and relax until the alarm sounds (an indicator that food is ready). Although, the recipe and timer are preset, the users can adjust the cooking time, in accordance with their preferences and the quality of ingredients
“My first prototype could only make tea and Kheer (rice pudding) earlier. But, the new design can prepare over 25 dishes. All of them take the same time and taste the same as that of my mother,” says Abhishek
Since the inception of the unique idea, Abhishek has come a long way. And, NIF has supported him at every step. It not only provided him monetary support for the design, but also helped him improve the same. Abhishek is now adding more recipes to be made from his machine.
The successful innovation won Abhishek an IGNITE Award in 2009 and a national award in the Sixth National Biennial Competition, organised by NIF. He was also invited by NIF to be an innovator-in-residence for a period of two months where he worked on his machine.organised by NIF. He was also invited by NIF to be an innovator-in-residence for a period of two months where he worked on his machine.
A Delhi-based designer has been engaged to develop the prototype further and turn it into a marketable product. In addition, a patent (729/KOL/2010) has also been filed under his name.
Abhishek completed a BSc in Animation and Multimedia from Mahatma Gandhi University in 2014 and is presently working as a graphic artist with NIIT in Gurgaon. He also participated in the innovation exhibition at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in March 2011 and became an INK Fellow in 2011.
When he was 15, he entered the Golden Book of World Records for his automatic food-making machine. “The recognition has helped me gain a lot of respect and awe. Earlier, my school complained about my callous attitude towards studies. But, recently they called to honour me for all the achievements. Our family is from a humble background and we don’t have much money. This kind of appreciation means a lot to me,” remarks the young genius
RoboCook is already creating waves across the country and he is waiting for the machine to come out in the market. The machine is especially useful for the disabled people and those living away from home, which includes students and bachelors.
Apart from the innovative streak that he exhibits in his ideas, Abhishek is also a talented painter. He won the first prize in a painting competition, held jointly by Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and IBP Company Limited.
Having achieved so much at this young age, Abhishek says this is just a beginning. He has a long list of innovations to his credit, including a pair of scissors with measuring tape, a watch to control switching of appliances, the sunflower system for solar plate, landing stand for spacecraft, cheapest CCTV camera and two-in-one refrigerator.
In the future, Abhishek aspires to make robots which could perform all tasks akin to humans. He plans to record human actions and feed them into the bot’s memory in order to make them act exactly as we (humans) do.
“There are so many things that can be done. All one requires is a little push in the right direction. I am thankful that I was able to receive that support on time and came this far. I want to inspire young people to experiment more and have their imaginations get converted into products,” he concludes.
Photos: Abhishek Bhagat