From building robots in dorms to building a business on teaching about robots

SINGAPORE – During their university days at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Jeremy Koh and Aditya Kapoor were deeply interested in bio-robotics and would spend hours on it in their dormitory rooms.

It was this passion that encouraged them to set up Whyte Labs, one of the winners at a pitching event on Tuesday (Feb 23) for Enterprise Singapore’s Venture Builder’s programme, an initiative to groom aspiring entrepreneurs in Singapore.

Whyte Labs is a company which teaches children about building robots with the knowledge of mathematics and science gained from school.

“There is definitely a growing awareness about the importance of coding and robotics education in Singapore. A lot more kids these days are learning coding at a young age, even in early Primary School, largely through block-based or graphical programming languages such as Scratch. This is empowering, because these basic skills give students the opportunity to explore a much wider range of things.” said Mr Koh, 30.

In late 2020, Mr Koh and Mr Kapoor, 26, were amazed by the creative solutions they encountered while conducting a four-day workshop for children between the ages of 10 and 15.

During the workshop the children had to create their own four-legged spider-like robots.

“Our youngest student was 10 years old, and despite not having any prior electronics experience, he was able to absorb all the basics and get his own walking robot up and running in just four days. And this is stuff that we learned only while at university,” said Mr Koh.

He added that they were now discussing with some schools to bring their programme to more students.

They are also exploring the possibility of creating a virtual-learning platform to train other instructors.

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