Willy Wonka was whom I wanted to be when I grew up, everything about him appealed to me - here you had a grown up who was tinkering around in his own factory creating new inventions - what made it even better was that his inventions were candies. I learnt coding in school, I started living part of my Willy Wonka dream by creating games in C++, as I created more of these technological 'candies' I realized that all of them were trapped inside this box of a computer. I would imagine what if you could unleash this computer from this box and let it out in the open, what if it could be free and everything would be a computer. Around this time a friend introduced me to the Arduino and I couldn't believe this small inexpensive piece of circuitry - it was more like magical wizardry, you see I grew up in the 90s when the fastest computer I had ever seen was much slower than the cheapest smartphone you can buy today. But more than anything, with the Arduino my ideas wouldn't anymore be limited to the computer screen but they could reach out into the real world - this new reality opened a pandora's box of innovative ideas and possibilities, some of which have made their way to the market thanks to Arduino's easy accessibility. It's been more than a decade since I was introduced to the Arduino, but I still use it to this day whenever I start with a new idea, it has become my 'Chocolate Factory'.
- Dhairya Dand
oDD, a futurist factory and lab
During the early 2009s Lechal was just an idea, to help navigate the blind from one place to another. We wanted to use vibrations as a medium to guide the blind. The human cognition, esp in the blind is complex, and very different from sighted people. It took us more than 25/30 product iterations to Lechal where it is right now. I came from a background of design and electronics, and found nothing as simple and modular as Arduino-Lilypad back in those days: It all started with this schematic, and prototype.
Even till the later stages of development, Arduino was the first tool we used to take ideas beyond the whiteboard.
As a new spinoff, Even the work that we're doing with present Arduino as Team Graviky, we utlize Arduino to prototype our ideas, and iterate fast. Arduino not only works well during our prototyping, but serves as a good manufacturing benchmark when we custom design our capture units, used to capture pollution.
- Anirudh Sharma
MIT spinoff Graviky Labs Pvt. Ltd.