RoboFun Lab

By Ashwin Shah, Co-Founder and CTO
Ashwin Shah,Co-Founder and CTO

Ashwin Shah

Co-Founder and CTO

The bright scope for Robotics education in India has just begun with Hon. PM's favorite scheme for schools, under the name of 'Atal Tinkering Lab'. While the education system has kept its focus only on traditional learning methods, this has eventually lead to a wide gap between concepts taught theoretically and their practical applications. Spread across seven cities in India, RoboFun Lab has the same set of goals as Atal Tinkering Lab. RoboFun Lab (RFL) is an initiative by a first generation entrepreneur, Manoj Patel and second generation enthusiastic educator, Ashwin Shah, who has the vision to provide the best hands-on learning platform to the students of age 6 to 18.

Started in February 2016 with just one lab in Rajkot, RFL is now working with 35+ schools & have established its own labs across 7 cities of India. Acknowledging the sound work done, RFL has been awarded as 'The Best ICT Startup' by GESIA in 2017 and 'The Best STEM-based Robotics Startup of India' by AICRA, DST, Government of India in 2018. "There have been multiple platforms for hands-on education for students of which, I always feel robotics is the most impactful one. If you ask why, it's because robotics is one of the most dynamic platforms for learning STEM concepts. Building and coding robots go hand-in-hand with problem-solving and taps directly into a child's curiosity, which is exactly where great ideas and life-changing inventions are born," asserts Ashwin Shah, Co-Founder & CTO, RoboFun Lab.

A Robotics Learners' Hub
At present, RFL offers six-year-long courses on Hands-on Learning Course Primary (Age 6+), Hands-on Learning Course Secondary (Age
7+), Core STEM Course (Age 8+), Core Robotics Course (Age 10+), Engineering Robotics Course (Age 12+), and Scratch Programming Course (Age 9+). All these courses are divided into three modules ­ Basic, Intermediate, and Advance. The STEM courses are aligned with Common Core Standards, defined by UNESCO, which helps state board students stand neck to neck with International Curriculum students in STEM Concepts.

RFL students are creating technologies, which were once mere concepts and imaginations. A group of students have made Artificial Automated Retractable Roof', which can be installed on the roof or open spaces. This technology will help in rainwater harvesting. The students simply integrated rain sensor with the robot brain and coded it in a way that roof should open only when it rains, maintaining free open spaces for the rest of the year. This group is now planning to apply for a provisional patent of this concept.

Gaining Fame at International Levels
RFL is #1 institute in India to train students for various International Robotics Competitions like World Robot Olympiad (WRO) (Age 6 to 18), VEX IQ World Championship, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) (Age 14 to 18), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) (Age 12 to 15), FIRST Lego League (FLL) (Age 10 to 14), Jr. FIRST Lego League (Age 6 to 9) and Robotex (Age 9 to 16).

"There have been multiple platforms for hands-on education for students of which robotics is the"

In last three years, RFL teams have won more than 30 National titles and have represented India at international platforms in USA, Australia, Estonia, Thailand, Qatar, and Indonesia. With their thumping performances, RFL team has brought glory to India with 6 International Awards, competing with 120+ other countries. Ashwin said that the international robotics competitions are the platform, where students exhibit what they have learned in robotics. Not only this, some competitions like FRC & FTC give students scholarship opportunities in one of the 200+ top
USA universities for graduation.

There are multiple factors to differentiate RFL from its competitors. The structured curriculum for age groups 6 to 16, which is there in the form of textbooks, aligned with Common Core Standards and appreciated by TUFTS University, USA. Along with this, the unique teacher training system for each RFL coach before induction in the system, and unique student evaluation system for each topic learnt are some major highlights of RFL, which has made the institute a one-stop STEM education center.

Faculty members are the key to any institutions. At RFL, faculties are chosen primarily not by their degrees, but by their passion and enthusiasm to be a change making educator in the field of robotics. Every educator follows a unique 4C (Connect ­ Construct ­ Contemplate ­ Continue) teaching-learning pedagogy for all robotics courses. This pedagogy in itself ensures the implementation of experiential learning across all RFL centers ­ giving best hands-on learning experience to the students.

RFL has unique curriculum for schools as well & ties up with schools in multiple ways ­based on school's vision & time table. RFL has successfully implemented its curriculum in 35+ schools across India ­ which includes Dhirubhai Ambani International School, American School of Bombay, Bombay International School, Genius English Medium School to name a few.

Talking about the workshops at RFL, Ashwin says, "Our students are the major drivers for change in the society. So far, RFL students have conducted robotics workshops for 15+ NGO's and 2 corporates. They taught 10th pass orphan students at ICICI skill academy. In the future, we will be integrating more technological platforms in our portfolio and increase the age spectrum. In order to have a larger magnitude impact for all our unique offerings, we wish to open at least 100 RFL centers, and work with 1000+ schools by 2024."