Mehul Borad has created a car that can move on varied terrain and overcome obstacles with hand gestures. The TOI #Unstoppable21 jury has picked the IITian as one of the Unstoppable 21 Indians under 21 years
Mehul Borad’s messy room at Hostel 16 of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, is a complete antithesis to his clear goals in life. Since the age of seven, he has dreamed of becoming a scientist, which brought discipline and focus to his life.
A native of Rajasthan, Mehul moved to Hyderabad early on in life. His favourite toy since childhood, he says, has been the toolbox
He had a knack for retooling home appliances. He would loosen their nuts to understand their wiring, communication and the signal system.
“I was always fascinated by how machines work. I would open them up, rebuild them or put them back together. I remember when I was seven, I took a motor, paper blades, some batteries and made a hand-held fan out of them,” the 19-year-old says.
His love for physics and machines got him to IIT-B after school.
From drones to remodelling an EV car, from creating his own robotic break dance to building a car that moves through varied terrain and overcomes obstacles with hand gestures – Mehul has used all his understanding of electronics and design for smart engineering.
Before entering IIT-B, he bagged two gold medals at the International Physics Olympiad and the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.
“I love math, physics and theoretical physics…quantum mechanics, the laws governing the universe. I spend hours and days trying to understand that.”
Why then did he join IIT-B? At one point, he told his father, a radiologist, that he wanted to move to the West, where he could pursue cutting-edge research.
“But my parents asked me to stay in India for my UG degree and then go (abroad) for my PG.”
But the scientist in him wanted to head to the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. But he soon realised that all toppers were heading to the mecca of engineering. “Here in IIT-B is where one finds the best brains of the country. So I too came here, to network, to meet and work with the best minds. After all, this is a great launching pad.”
During the orientation at IIT, he awoke to some great possibilities.
“I was particularly fascinated by medical research, to make a $1,000 test cost only $10 through AI,” he says.
Science, he adds, can change lives and alter humanity. “That’s what I want to do to make the planet a better place.”