Hashim Abdulla T is currently completing his M.Sc. in Computer Science, specializing in machine intelligence, at IIITMK Trivandrum. He was one of the first Learners to join the thingQbator, working as a volunteer to set-up space even before the programme started.
From the very beginning, Hashim realized and harnessed the potential of the thingQbator as a platform to kick-start and catalyze his career: “my dream is to become a responsible entrepreneur who can help to improve people’s lives. When I got introduced to the thingQbator, I saw that this is the perfect makerspace to experiment with, build and test my own ideas,” the 26-years old student says.
The unlimited access to important resources such as Raspberry Pi single-board computers which are used for a variety of purposes including experimentation, learning how to program and robotics provided Hashim with practical experience and skills to develop his own ideas: “my baby steps in the world of entrepreneurship started in the thingQbator. When I did my undergraduate degree, I only got one chance to see the Raspberry Pi. But at the thingQbator, I was playing with it and experimenting with it as much as I wanted to. I was also able to familiarise myself with other microcontrollers and devices, use some of the most advanced artificial intelligence-powered devices such as the Jetson Nano, and do 3D designing and printing for my projects,” he says.
This all enabled Hashim, for example, to learn how to programme, control, and monitor devices using mobile phones. Besides the hard skills he acquired, the student is also benefiting from the open and collaborative atmosphere that is being a part of the thingQbator and brings the students from various backgrounds together: “I built really good relationships with a lot of people who are on the same or similar path. I think that is one of the biggest things I achieved here,” Hashim says.
The thingQbator then also changes the way and understanding of learning for the student. He says that whereas in college everything is pre-given and pre-decided by others, “here I am able to design my own curriculum and take my own time to learn. I learned how to plan and execute a project from scratch by breaking it down into smaller, achievable tasks. While doing lots of experiments I also realized that I can learn a lot through trial and error and looking at how to solve a problem in various different ways,” Hashim adds.
Another important part of Hashim’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur is how the thingQbator helped him to build an idea into a working product. He did exactly this with his precision farming project that emerged in the thingQbator.
Precision farming refers to everything that makes farming more accurate and controlled. A key component of this approach is the use of information technology and a broad range of items such as GPS guidance, control systems, sensors, robotics, drones, GPS-based soil sampling, automated hardware, telematics, and software. The college student says that “when I came to the thingQbator, it was just an idea that I and my team had worked on. Now we have built a prototype for precision farming which we further develop in cooperation with the Government of Kerala’s Young Innovators Programme.” For this innovation which will help farmers to increase yields and raise their income, Hashim and his team received the 2019 thingQbator Felicitation Award.