We are super excited to announce that we have made it to the final round of judging in the INFY Maker Awards from the Infosys Foundation. If we are awarded the grant we will be able to significantly speed up our timeline for rolling out the next round of hands-on workshops and classes with the Maker Auto team. Our goal is to start a more long term schedule of events where we revisit some of the same organizations on an ongoing basis. You can help us out a bunch by simply voting for our project on the INFY Maker Awards website.
Direct link is here : https://review.wizehive.com/voting/view/infypublic2017/47311/4162437/0.
Thanks in advance for your support!
Hey, check it out, we have a new video!
We drove all the way to Bangalore. OK, so really we had the auto shipped on the back of a truck, but we made it there anyway. We had a setup at Maker Faire in Bangalore and did a little intro to soldering workshop.
Thanks again to Autodesk India for making this possible!
Its about time we formally (well, not so formally) introduce ourselves. The core team will probably change over time, but as of now (Tuesday, September 16th, 2016 at 1:43 PM) here we are:
Coby: Project Lead, Build Team + Workshop/Content Team
Most often, Coby Unger can be found in his natural habitat of the work shop or on a feeding frenzy of either egg masala and roti or a bagel with cream cheese and a hot cup of coffee. He considers his Leatherman multi tool an extension of his being and is rarely found without it. Coby has been making and building from a young age. He has been working to share that passion with others since he was in college at Philadelphia University and working with Public Workshop on various design-build projects. Never one for doing things the traditional way, he embraced the spirit of Jugaaad long before moving to india and learning there was an official term for it.
Nikhil: Lead Problem Solver, Build Team + Driver
When Nikhil Shinde was a youngster he wanted to be a taxi driver, so that he could spend the day roaming the city behind the wheel of a car. He decided to go to engineering school when he realized that the only way to get closer to cars than driving them would be to design them. After a summer working on the Maker Auto he told the team “I think I finally found my ideal career path. I just want to make things.” Soon, Nik’s dream of being a taxi driver and new found passion for making will come together as the Maker Auto team hits the streets starts conducting workshops.
Mayur: Get-It-Done Officer, Build Team
If the electric companies ever find out the source Mayur Aujha’s boundless energy and excitement, the world’s electricity problem will be solved. His ambition and positive spirit is truly infectious. Mayur has been working in motorcycle and automobile garages since he was 14 years old, and truly believes that the best way to learn is though one’s hands. He is a projectionist in the best way possible and isn’t afraid to forgo sleep in order to get every detail right. Even as a full time automotive engineering student at Mumbia Univesrity he still somehow finds the time to work on the Maker Auto project’s fabrication team and continue his hands-on learning at his local garage.
Namita: Ideas Guru, Workshop/Content Team
Making Jam is Namita’s Jam. Among countless other things Namita makes jam, not out of curiosity, but some weird lifelong dream of ultimate self-sufficiency. Be it hand-bound notebooks, homemade mosquito repellent, cooking or cutting her own hair – she always has a few projects going on. She asks a great many questions, is an expert googler and believes any complex conversation can be turned into beautifully organized spreadsheets. Her methodical approach to all work, is a result of a strong system of values and buckets-full of thought behind every action. As a design graduate, she had her geek index amplified by working with a serious games company for several years. She is now attempting a tightrope walk of the highest order, mixing practical design, civic engagement, alternative learning and new forms of gamification.
Aditya: Think Tank, Workshop/Content Team
After graduating with a masters degree from New York University, Aditya was bored by the idea of living the tidy american dream. So, he fled back to run Ycenter’s India programs in Mumbai. When he isn’t lamenting the fall of heavy metal (music, not the material) or reading three books on philosophy at the same time, his mouth is probably stuffed with vada pav & adrak chai. He is a self proclaimed ‘thinker’ and not a maker, but we embrace him on our team anyway for his unique way of seeing the world. He is refreshingly practical, idealistic and has a magpie-like curiosity for information. This fuels his ability to make great connections – be it people, ideas or systems – to solve problems.
Vaibhav: Maker’s Asylum Director and Founder
In addition to providing space and access to tools for the project, Vaibhav has been one of the loudest cheerleaders for the project and helped immensely in securing sponsorship and keeping the logistics on track. Thanks for taking care on these aspects of the project even though you would have preferred to be turning wrenches and sparking welds with the rest of the fabrication team. You rock, keep it up.
Anurag: Comes in Clutch, Workshop/Content Team
Anurag has been a friend of the project from the very beginning. He acted as a casual advisor for a while, and recently came in to help out with some of our first projects. His background is in finance, and now he works in tech, and trust me when I say, this guy can do it all. Despite his indisputable intelligence and aptitude in a variety of fields, the most remarkable characteristic of Anurag is his unmatched ability to make friends and laugh with pretty much anybody. Anurag, we are honored to have you on our team.
The Maker Auto’s Unsung Heroes
No project of this scale ever happens without the help of others. Over the course of the build project I (Coby) have tried to give credit where credit is due to the core team members, but missed out on thanking a few other people who played crucial rolls in the project. These are the unsung heroes of the project, in no particular order. Thank you to the moon and back.
We ran into some troubles when trying to get the Auto registered and road legal, but luckily, Ashok was there to help. He has not hesitated to go to the Road Transit Office before work on countless occasions to sort out the paperwork issues.
Varsha is Mayur’s mom, but it feels like the rest of us are her adopted kids. Especially for Coby, who has been half way around the world from home, having home cooked food has been a dream.
Sometimes finding the right part in time for a tight deadline is a huge challenge. Over the last few months Mansingh has saved the day more than a few times with last minute fixes and parts. Thanks to him, we still made it on stage even when the auto wouldn’t start just hours before show time at Autodesk University.
It isn’t always easy keeping the operations of a maker space in order, but Sunaina does a pretty great job of it. It is no small thanks to her that the budgeting and acquisition of the auto and it’s materials happened mostly without a hitch.
I hesitate to include Ajit in this post, because he probably deserves a post of his own, but I know that he would be too humble to accept it. Ajit has been a part of the team since the idea first formed the better part of a year ago. His contributions range from helping to secure funding from Autodesk, to getting us on stage at the launch event, to waking up in the middle of the night to save us from an unfortunate run-in with the police (don’t worry, we didn’t actually do anything wrong).
After months of work, the Maker Auto is finally nearing completion. On September 1st we will be unveiling the auto in public at Atuodesk University 2016. As planned the auto is fully equipped with 4 folding work benches that double as tool storage units, a full set of woodworking, soldering and tinkering tools, a 3D printer and a few extra secret surprises. We aren’t on the road doing workshops yet, but we have already been featured in numerous news articles (see below). Stay tuned for more exciting updates.
Remember that video from a few months ago of the auto going up? Well, here’s the opposite video.
The buildout of this project will be conducted at the Maker’s Asylum, which happens to be on the second floor, so we hired a crane to lift it up.
Although it may not look like it on the IndieGogo page, we are a mere $424 from reaching our fundraising goal. Help us reach our goal, so that we can make sure that our classes and workshops remain free of charge.
Click here to contribute. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/maker-auto-rickshaw/x/9514728#/
Think of an auto rickshaw mixed with the car from Back to the Future. Add the tools from a maker space and the curriculum from a science or engineering class you wish you had in school. Now take that and set it in the heart of Mumbai. The Maker Auto will be a mobile link between the Makers’ Asylum (makersasylum.com) and the greater community of Mumbai. We will be conducting workshops in collaboration with a variety of community groups, neighborhood associations, and nonprofit educational organizations from throughout the city.
The excitement and energy about innovation and building things in a maker-space is palpable, but how far can we extend that excitement? How can we bring that creativity energy to collaborations in the greater community of a Mumbai? India has countless people who make their living building things, but physical building activities are not often viewed as a respectable career path. Handwork is often associated with low wages and is not respected by many of India’s educated elite. Can we show the greater community that making and building things by is an essential part of some of the best innovations? Let’s work together to build a mobile platform for making collaboration to expand our community of change-makers.