Saral Tayal, age 19, who started his journey in the maker movement at the age of 12, is enrolled to study robotics and engineering in Carnegie Mellon University.
His achievements include being the Grand Prize winner in Amazon’s worldwide voice activated challenge for his Smart Mirror Project. His Maker blog where he publishes his best projects has over 200,000 views. He has been published as a featured maker in Hack-Space Magazine and has been also featured by Intel, Autodesk, Hackaday, Hackster.io, freetronics, 3Ders, Instructables, and Superhouse Automation. He has also been invited to the autodesk headquarters to presented his projects and inventions at the Autodesk Headquarters.
Sharing his passion for learning has been an integral part of Saral’s making journey. At the age of 14, Saral joined XPC: one of Singapore’s first Makerspaces sponsored by Home-Fix. Here he helped design the electronics fab lab and mentor and guide fellow builders and students with their projects in the makerspace. Working With XPC, he helped organize Maker’s Block event, one of Singapore’s first Makerspaces. This was the first time he had the opportunity to reach out to a large audience and spread the concept of the maker movement. Here he held an intro to soldering and recycled cardboard f1 car building workshops while giving talks on 3D printing and what it means to be a maker. After his work with XPC, he was invited to intern with Qwikfab: a niche 3D printing startup in Singapore that built custom 3D printers for clients such as NUS, RedHat Linux, and A-Star. Here he was a key member in the design team that built their flagship 3D printer: The Beast 2.0 printer. With QwikFab, he participated in his second maker faire in Singapore where he showcased the advantages of rapid prototyping and 3D printing to a mass audience. Saral also has work and internship experience with AIG on media creation, Imran Repair in repairing consumer electronics such as laptops and cellphones. He has also worked with the Liter of Light initiative in India to install solar street lamps in areas without electricity, he has worked with government agencies on city wide cleaning protocols in India, and helped build a primary school for dunda village in India.
With all his experience and passion in the making space, Saral is starting his very own teaching initiative: Tinker Spark. He’s tackling some of the biggest shortcomings of the the average workshops and other factors that pose barriers to entry to the maker movement. Saral designed Tinker-Streams to redefine what workshops should be. Capitalizing on the robotics, programing and electronics hype, most companies have turned the education environment into a profit churning machine; additionally, their workshops are designed around a specific product like Ev3 by Lego or the Arduino platform. Weekly classes in just these platforms only teaches the students how to use the system and conform to the manufacturer's constraints. Making is all about opening doors and not closing them and using one commercial platforms do just that. There’s nothing wrong with these platforms, and we too use them in our lessons, but we use them to supplement larger learning rather than learning how to use a particular system. Our tinker-streams are by design just one workshop long. These workshops revolve around the mainstream themes within the making community that’ll kickstart your making journey. For instance, if you enroll in the robotics stream workshop, you will learn about the fundamentals of robotics via seeing large scale robots, build robots that don’t need to be program, learn the basics of drag-and-drop programming, and build a line following robot with basic programming. Here is the largest benefit of Tinker-Streams. Because every workshop has you building our own project that you get to take home, you can supplement your in-class learning by learning independently at home enabling you the creative resources to build whatever you want rather than being confined to a commercial kit’s design limitations. Furthermore, we provide online resources and support for you to explore more advanced topics or projects in the tinker stream that you enrolled in. Our final advantage is the price. Saral is driven by his passion and not profit and it can be seen in his work with the global Maker community.