Indian Origin boy in finals of Google Science Fair

An Indian origin boy has been ranked among the top 100 regional finalists for the Google Science Fair global contest for student projects. An 11 th grade student of Indian High school, Shaamil Karim hails from Chennai and lives with his family in Dubai. His entry was selected from thousands of entries for the contest.

In the running for the global 20 finalists, his project detects if a car or person is passing by and makes the next street light brighter and the previous light dimmer, saving energy. “We were at a park late at night and all the lights were switched on. My dad said, ‘Can’t we do something about this?’ I decided to do my project to make street lights smart.” he said.Instead of using infrared-based motion detectors, which would be expensive, Karim used photo-resistors to detect the shadow cast by passing cars or people. Once a shadow is sensed, the next street light brightens up for the approaching road user while the previous
one dims down.

“For safety reasons, you cannot have the street lights off and then suddenly come on — as
in the corridors in buildings — so the solution is to make them smarter by brightening and diming where and when appropriate,” he said. He added that his project would be around 63 per cent cheaper than infrared-based sensors. All it needs are photo-resistors, cables and a micro controller to fit to existing
street lights in developing countries. He says he is very passionate about computers and
coding and has made the code for the project himself.

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