About Me

Date of Birth: 3rd January, 1989
Nationality: Indian

I strongly believe that innovation and hard work are the keys to success. Founder of JMoon Technologies Pvt. Ltd. I have been fascinated by robotics as a career since 2008.

My main objective in life has always been to become good at everything that I do, with the help of constant practice, my strong will & patience and the ability to never shy away from hard work or learning. I'm good at combining several of my skills to create something new. I love to learn new things about various topics besides Robotics, like- latest gadgets & technology and how they affect our daily life and healthcare, human psychology & behavior, basic biology, science fiction, forensic science, astronomy & cosmology, forensics, paleontology (particularly relating to the dinosaurs of the Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods), religion and more.

In my spare time I like to read fiction novels and do free hand drawing, by sketching portraits and creating cartoons, along with designs of various robots. Television and the internet are my regular source of information as well as entertainment, and my motorcycle is my constant companion on the road, in all kinds of weather.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To know the where I am currently in my life, and how I got there, read on.

For as long as I can remember, I've had a natural talent for Architecture and Mechanical Design, Logic, Mathematics (Mental Maths, Geometry, Calculus, Algebra), along with an affinity for Theoretical & Applied Physics, Forensic Sciences, and taking apart toys & other electronics. I've always relied on my will, imagination and hard-work to get the difficult tasks done. Growing up I wanted to be a scientist + forensic expert + architect + cartoonist + chef + psychologist + paleontologist and could never decide which one to finally choose.

School (1-5)
During childhood I was never a good student. I had a good brain, that much was clear to my parents and teachers, but definitely had no interest in studies. I was great at mental Maths, so Mathematics was one of my favorite subjects, but apart from that I had no interest in subjects like History, Civics etc. From 2nd to 5th, I didn't even focus on classwork. I would come back from school, and in the evening would have to visit my best friend and fellow classmate's house, with my mother, so that she could copy his notebook and find out what was done in class, and find out what the homework was supposed to be. We would then go back home and I would get help with my homework. This was my schedule for years.

School (6th and after)
My family moved to United States on June 13, 1999. From September 7, 1999 to June 13, 2000, I was enrolled in 6th grade at Gwynedd Square Elementary School (Pennsylvania). I attribute this year, into turning me who I am today. This was the first time I realized that I had the ability to spatially imagine 3D objects in my mind, during Math class. During this year, I read books on Astronomy, Confucianism, Greek, Roman & Egyptian Mythology, but it started with pop-up books on dinosaurs, short stories, and by the end of the year after the "Reading Challenge 2000" event, I had read close to 20 novels. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was my first novel and I was 11 years old at the time (the same age as Harry Potter) which made reading it so much fun. I've been a voracious reader ever since. I read almost every "Goosebumps" I could lay my hands on, and "Matilda" was another one of my favorites at the time.

This was also the year when I started focusing on drawing art, writing poems, dancing and a few other skills. Initially I was not good at any of these, but over time I have gradually improved to the point that I can now draw amazing sketches of people (I'm good with drawing and remembering faces), write decent poems, moon-walk, whistle in 9 different styles, modulate my voice and more.

My family moved back to India in June 2000, and I joined G.H.P.S. Vasant Vihar, where I studied from 7th till 10th. In 8th grade I joined the NCC group of the school which had started just that year. It was a way for most of the boys to bunk the morning prayer, and even though initially I participated for the same reason, by the end of the year I was one of the good NCC cadets around. In 10th I received the award for "Best NCC Cadet" during the school's annual function, but due to a mix-up I never got to go on stage to collect it and the award still remains at the school (I hope). After getting decent marks in my 10th examinations, I moved back to S.S. Mota Singh Sr. Secondary Model School, Janak Puri where I had been from kindergarten to 5th.

From 1st to 10th grade my favorite subjects were Mathematics and Science, and when it came time to chose between Computer Science and Biology, in the 11th grade, I decided to take up Biology, but I ended up getting bored of what was being taught by the end of 11th grade, though I still enjoy studying various topics related the human physiology, and behavioral patterns in animals, I just wasn't interested in botany, which was the majority of the 11th and 12th grade course. 

Bachelor of Technology- Computer Science & Engineering
I ended up in Computer Science by chance. All my friends happened to be guys who had chosen Computer Science in 11th and they took up CSE in B.Tech. and I just went along with them thinking I would have help if I ever lacked in a subject because I still hadn't figured out which field I really wanted to pursue. I had gotten admission in University of Delhi in the B.Sc. Physics (3 year) course, but I decided to cancel that admission and go for Bachelor of Technology (4 year course) instead, in Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology (GTBIT) of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. It turned out be one of the best decisions I ever made.

By the second year of B.Tech. I enjoyed Computer Science subjects more than some of my friends, the logic thinking required to make algorithms, the coding of programs to make the computer do anything I wanted, reading up on the computer hardware, and I never required any extra help from my peers for the subjects (like I had expected). By the end of second year I had found out about Robotics and I saw it as an opportunity to combine my love of Electronics and Mechanical with my skills in Computer Science and I knew that this was what I was meant to do for the rest of  my life. To me it meant that there was a way to do what I think I do best - combine my skills to create something better. Robotics gave me a way to use my imagination (to think of new designs), use my sketching and drawing skills (to draw these designs on paper), use Electronics (to create what I needed to control the robots), use Mechanics & CAD (to create the body) and also use my newly acquired programming skills to make it all work in unison. Thus began my journey into the field of Robotics. I did courses in Robotics, outside of college, that increased my knowledge of professional Electronics, Mechanics, and the kind of programming that is required for making the robots work. I was the sole Computer Science student in almost all these courses.

After B. Tech.

After graduating from B.Tech., I was sure I wanted to further continue my studies because it had just begun and I had so much left to learn. I never wanted to join an IT company or pursue an MBA degree to end up at a 9 to 5 job, which was the usual trend my other classmates followed and which I knew would bore me. The fields that interested me after my graduation were Robotics and Bio-Informatics. After searching for months, looking for institutes in India that would allow me to get a masters degree in Electronics or Robotics, I decided to continue further in Computer Science, after I couldn't find one. Everywhere I looked for higher education of Robotics in India, the eligibility criteria for admission was that you had to be a student of either Electronics or Mechanical stream. During this time, I gave the GATE test and based on its result got a call from University of Hyderabad for an interview for admission to M.Tech. Bionformatics to be held on 16th June 2010. Meanwhile I had already given the MBA entrance test of GGSIPU, the result of which came on 15th June (the day I reached Hyderabad), and I got to know that my rank was 19. It was a shock, to me at least, because I hadn't even prepared for the test, but then again, I hadn't really prepared for the interview I had scheduled for the next day either. After the interview was over, I knew in my gut (I have a strong gut feeling every time I know that something is not going to work out for me) that the admission to bio-informatics was a lost cause as it was the worst interview I've ever given, having lost touch with biology after school.

I got back to Delhi on the morning of 17th June, and still hadn't prepared for the entrance test for the M.Sc. Computer Science in Delhi University which was scheduled for 19th June and the syllabus in the brochure mentioned that questions of mathematics and computer science were going to be asked. I hadn't touched my mathematics books since my 3rd semester of B.Tech. and was giving the exam because my dad wanted me to (He teaches in Delhi University, so he's partial to it), and not because I had any particular interest in studying database and networking subjects further. It looked like I was going to end up in MBA after all. After the quantitative exam I found out that there was supposed to be a second, subjective exam too. Turns out I hadn't even read the brochure of the entrance test well enough. So I called up my dad to give him this new (for me) information I had just been given and he told me to just play it out and do what I can. Its one thing just marking and guessing answers of mathematics in a MCQ test (I call it "drawing the snake" because the OMR answer sheet looks like a snake or a helix by the time you're done guessing), its a whole different ball game to actually prove the answers in a written test, and writing code on a piece of paper is the worst! THE WORST!

So now I had some time to kill after the quantitative exam, before the subjective exam was supposed to begin, and I saw every student reading some book or the other to prepare for it. I too started reading the only book I had with me at the time- a book of Sherlock Holmes which I had started on my trip to Hyderabad and I had planned to read on my commute back home on the Delhi Metro. Well the subjective test happened and though I attempted less than half of the mathematics questions, I was pretty sure that I had done pretty okay on the programming questions, but combining the quantitative exam of the morning which I had not put much efforts into, my chances weren't looking so great to me. The result of the exam was released in July, and it turned out that I cleared the entrance test with a rank of 16 (another shock, by the way, making me wonder if I had suddenly tapped into my latent genius powers or some evil mastermind had started absorbing other people's brains). My admission was unique, as it was the first time (and till now the only time) a B.Tech. student sought admission in the long history of the Department of Computer Science (DUCS), as students of M.Sc. always came from the B.Sc. Computer Science courses of various universities, and those admitted in M.C.A. came from either B.Sc. Computer Science, Electronics, Physics or Mathematics. This masters degree in Computer Science again worked out in my favor.

Master of Science- Computer Science
Till almost the end of my first year, no first year student in the department, including me, knew that the department had robots that are used for research purposes. This was because all the previous people who had worked on robotics research had not ever taken the robots out of the room that they were kept in under lock and key. These robots were- 2 Lego Mindstorms NXT and 2 Nex Robotics' FireBird IV. I was surprised and elated to find a project of robotics listed on the notice board when the time came, in 2nd semester, to choose a research project for 3rd and 4th semesters. My immediate seniors who had worked on the NXT had done programming in NXC. Their project had been to use the NXT Touch and Sound sensor for home security purposes and also making it controllable through bluetooth. The teacher now wanted the next batch to explore MATLAB and Microsoft Robotics Studio with these platforms. As luck would have it, I was very proficient in MATLAB since my 3rd year of B.Tech., so much so that every student of DUCS, senior or junior, and some teachers who had doubts in MATLAB programming would approach me to help solve their problem, so getting a chance to use another one of my skills that I hadn't yet used in robotics was a dream come true and I jumped at the chance of doing my research in robotics. All the previous robotics related projects in the department were done in groups of 2 or 3 students, but I volunteered for my research project alone, as no other student of my batch was as inclined towards the field as I was (thinking that the project would be beyond their comprehension), nor did they have any prior experience with it. After the start of my 3rd semester and research project, I helped the department acquire another robot, the Robotis Bioloid Premium.

When I started working on the project in my 3rd semester, I spent the first 2 months getting to know the workings of the NXT, the FireBird, & Microsoft Robotics Studio and arranging meetings between the local distributor of the Bioloid with my project mentor. During this time of 3rd semester, I was asked to start working on a project where the NXT could be controlled by Microsoft Robotics Development Studio (MSRDS was something none of my seniors had explored before) which I successfully completed by using a Bluetooth USB dongle for added movement capability.

At the end of the minor presentation, in the middle of the 3rd semester, I was asked to create a system where the robot could create a map of the room it was in. I used an NXT TriBot, a single touch sensor, and MATLAB to successfully complete this project by the end of the 3rd semester. The algorithm used for this, was an idea that came to me after watching the janitor sweeping the floors of the department. At the start of the 4th semester, my project was to create a map of a room, like I had done previously, but improve the output somehow (the problem statement had no clues as to exactly how to improve it and why). This is where my knowledge of the Programming of a Robotic Car course from Udacity, which I had finished a few weeks earlier, came in handy. I decided to improve the map using SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) a concept which was not very well known to the student and faculty of the department, so I was headed into unknown territories by myself. By the end of the 4th semester I even created a particle filter to help solve the Kidnapped Robot Problem (which was not in the problem statement given to me and was implemented solely because I had finished the SLAM portion of it fairly quickly, before the end of the semester) by again using the same hardware.

The research projects of robotics done before my time, were very small, simple (looking back, I could have completed any of those projects in maximum 1 week, after getting familiar with the NXT for a week) and done inconspicuously as no one in the department, except the students working on the projects, knew anything about the existence of these robots, but by the time I finished my M.Sc. degree, everyone in the department (my seniors, classmates, juniors, and teachers) knew about them, as I had taken the robots out of their room, to the classrooms of the department, for the first time. On occasion, I am still approached by students and faculty of the department for queries related to robotics, artificial intelligence, embedded systems and more.

Placement Season
Like all parents in India, mine wanted me to have a call letter from a company in hand in case things didn't work out the way I had planned.

During B.Tech final year I sat for the placement of only one company - Computer Science Corporation (CSC) where I had cleared the Written test and Group Discussion, but threw it away during the HR+Technical interview round after the interviewer saw my certifications related to Robotics and I said to him that robotics is what I want to do in my life. After that I never attended the placement drive of any other company on- or off-campus. This time however, I just needed a call letter to show at home. So in M.Sc. I sat for the placements.

While everybody in my M.Sc. class was busy studying for the companies during the summer holidays of 2011 (after 2nd semester of M.Sc.), I was busy studying about humanoids (so much for the preparation of technical companies). Then came Aricent in July. They were to DUCS, what Infosys was to GTBIT, i.e.- mass hiring folks. But there was a catch, unlike Infosys, they took tough technical interviews which involved subjects like Data Structures, Networking, Operating System, Algorithms etc. Basically all the subjects I had neglected to study (had just passing marks in) in B.Tech. and M.Sc. The written aptitude test came and was cleared (I didn't even have to study for aptitude tests anymore, I was a natural at it and had worked on my small weaknesses by then in all the entrance tests I had given). Then came the group discussion which I cleared (didn't need any practice for that either. I had worked on this skill after I once lost a debate competition in 10th grade). My interview was supposed to start and people who were going in, came out after almost 30-40 minutes screaming topics from the above mentioned subjects, telling other people what they were asked and what to expect. I still had no book to read from while people were busy gobbling up facts which they would probably only remember till the end of the interview. Oh well, the time for judgement finally came, interview started and the first question I got asked, after the interviewer had taken a look at my resume, was- "Why an M.Sc. after a B.Tech.?". I spent the next 10 minutes explaining the importance of a Masters education, how I like to study, and how I prefer to do things that most people would not do. Next question- "Explain Linked Lists". Done! "Explain Queue". Done! "Write the code (on paper) for linked list and queue". Errrrr, tried and failed. I knew I had seen something about a structure called "node", a pointer called "next" in a book a few years ago in B.Tech., but couldn't recall it at that moment. So I explained to the interviewer that there was a pointer and a structure in the code for a linked list but I just couldn't remember the complete code right now but wrote whatever I could remember (its a definition of 4-5 lines of code with one of the lines being "};", shown below). Same thing followed for a queue and a circular linked list. After 5 minutes of giving the interviewer wrong and incomplete codes I was allowed to leave, and shook his hand as I left. Mine was probably the shortest interview of the day (hardly 20 minutes), but I still had no gut feeling about it going horribly wrong, maybe I was losing my gut-feeling gift. After the interview I decided to take a short nap (I still have photos that people took while I slept peacefully), hang out and look at people's nervous faces as they went for the interview and their faces when they came back, and wait for the result so I could go home and prepare to not take the next interview seriously. The result came and my name was in the list of students selected. I don't know why or how, but now I was sure to get the call letter that I needed.

This is how a linked list is defined, yes the code is that small:
struct node
    int data;
    struct node *next;

After Aricent I did sit in the off-campus placement for Thorogood and Nagarro just to see if I could get some more experience with the interview process. In Nagarro I had the highest Aptitude test score, but considering that only about 30-40 people from DUCS were there that was no surprise to me. I lost out in the technical interview (this time the interview was very technical and the same subjects as above were asked), so that wasn't a surprise either.

In Thorogood, I cleared the written test. This time there were students from DUCS and BVP (Punjabi Bagh) so this was a little surprising since along with the aptitude questions, there was also an english essay writing portion (which was easy), and an SQL query writing portion (in which out of 5 queries I wrote answers for 3 of them which I knew could in no way be correct answers, and gibberish SQL statements for the other 2 queries). After that I cleared another "technical" interview. At the interview stage, people were being asked about the code they had done months before and a few were asked to write their complete code on paper, which was even 8 pages long in some cases. My 2 interviewers and I had discussions about my projects in robotics, about living alone in a separate city from your parents and how its difficult to wash clothes sometimes. Thankfully no code writing for me here. I was selected for the next rounds of interviews and tests to be held in Bangalore. Once there, I was sure I had aced the tests (one test had us designing an airport plan using Legos and a few other art related materials. I came up with the watch tower, runway and the airport hangar [probably the most important parts of an airport], while the other candidates came up with hotels, hospitals, trees and surrounding areas and how to improve electricity consumption using solar energy at the airport) and given acceptable answers to every interview question, till I goofed up and told pure and non-adulterated truth (which I almost always do) when asked about "What kind of problem have you faced with your team in a project, and how did you solve it?". My answer to this question was- "We were 3 people working on a coding assignment. Nobody had worked on the code, we had just copied it from our seniors who had the code with them. 1 person from the group said  (a few hours before we were supposed to give the assignment) that while the 2 of us are showing the code and running it in front of the teacher, he will answer the questions if she asks any. The other guy came up to me with the idea to speak first every time the teacher asks the question, before the first guy has a chance to do so (This was fine by me because I had no clue what was happening in the code and would probably not be answering any questions on it anyway). So when the teacher asked the questions, the other guy would reply first and cut the first guy off mid-sentence." After this response, as I left the interview room, I got the gut-feeling about not being selected, which turned out to be right again. If I had mentioned, that the guy who suggested this solution was one of the other candidates from DUCS who was appearing for the interviews too (and was supposed to be the next guy coming in for the interview), who knows how his interview would have gone.

Dexter Industries
Since I had worked with NXT and had previous experience with Arduino IDE, I got a chance to work with Dexter Industries. I used their GPS Shield for Arduino to create new sample programs, tested the programs written for the WiFi Sensor for NXT, and created the whole library with sample programs and online manual for the WiFi Shield for Arduino from scratch, while simultaneously studying for GRE and TOEFL exams to apply for a Ph.D. in Robotics in various universities across USA. I would code from 10am to 5pm and then study from 5pm onwards. TOEFL exam was scheduled for August and GRE in September, and during these 2 months I did not go out of my house at all, except to give the exams.

JMoon Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
I didn't get an admission in 2012 and my M.Sc. research paper was still not published by then, so I decided to study hard, continue working with Dexter Industries and reapply next year, but then decided to do what I had planned to do after my Ph.D., i.e., start my own company. I had an idea and an urge to solve the problems I had encountered (and which most students face) when I first got introduced to the world of Robotics, mainly- Getting parts at the right price from the right place; No easy access to internationally available hardware that is not available in India, at the same rate as the rest of the world; No place for learning new skills outside the college; No place for Computer Science students to learn Robotics theory and application anywhere in India; No course catering exclusively to the students of Computer Science; Repetitive knowledge being given to students of most of these courses through textbooks with little to no practical approach being followed. With these ideas in mind I decided to open JMoon Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which was finally registered on July 2, 2013. By December 2013, we had completed all our legal formalities and market research. On 23rd January 2014 we launched our online store RoboRium.com with a plan to distribute hardware from international robot part manufactures as well as local manufacturers. RoboRium, a combination of the words 'Robot' and 'Emporium', ('Emporium' was chosen because of the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"), is a unique robotic store in India, in many ways:
1. It is, since January 2014, THE cheapest online robotic store of India. This eliminates the need for any roboticist to spend hours looking for the right shop in their neighborhood or online. By introducing majorly international hardware, we've been able to provide access to more types of resources to our customers.
2. The online and offline methods of payment help students, hobbyists, researchers and roboticists pay for their products easily using Debit/Credit Cards, Net-Banking, Cash, Cheque and/or NEFT.
3. Low shipping charges. This lets people buy the products from the comfort of their home and avoid spending hours finding the right shop with the right price, at a price lower than what it would take to travel to their nearest market, even by public transport.
4. Same-day shipping for orders placed before 2PM IST. This makes sure that all orders received by 2PM are packed and sent out the same day and received by the eager roboticists as early as possible.
5. Free technical details on products, along with how-to-use guides, links to drivers, codes, and projects available on Wiki.JMoon.co which I wrote myself till September 2014. I would still love to write some of the tutorials and codes myself and get a chance to work with the new sensors or motors that we add to RoboRium, but I no longer am able to do it. These are now written by my team.
6. Exclusive products from international suppliers, like TowerPro, DAGU, Robotis, etc., that are not found easily in India and are must-haves for any budding roboticist.

7. Special schemes allow customers to decide the future products that are added to the store and get discounts for suggesting it. If a product is not available in India, and is suggested by a customer, we make sure we are able to deliver it.
If a customer suggests a supplier that we haven't yet approached, and we end up adding that supplier's products to our store, the customer gets up to 15% discount on their first order of the products they suggested!

On 18th September 2014 we solved another one of the problems by launching JMoon MakerSpace, which is Delhi's first makerspace, India's 2nd makerspace, and the only one in India dedicated to Robotics, Home Automation, Internet of Things, Wearables, and Cosplay (suits with moving or electronic parts are a specialty). The MakerSpace makes a lot of hardware, from RoboRium, and other tools we have, available to the passionate makers who would otherwise not have access to the costlier or scarcely available materials. This was founded because in early 2014, I realized that what I was trying to do was perfectly aligned with the concept of makerspaces. With no competition or previous makerspace existing in the fields we focus on, I initially set the monthly fees to Rs. 7000/- (as most of the makerspaces worldwide have a $100+ monthly fees). Over time, as more members joined in, this monthly membership was reduced to Rs. 1999/-, making it India's most affordable makerspace. With different payment plans to choose from, its easy to join for even a day. In August 2015, we expanded to include Wood Working and 3D Printing in our makerspace, with the addition of new tools.

I was unsatisfied with the courses being taught in India for some time, because even though the industry has changed in the last few years, the courses have not kept up. The next step for me was to prepare training courses and workshops under JMoon L.A.B.S., which focus on practical work, keeping in mind the challenges that the students face and what they truly want to learn. The courses make the latest technologies available to students, and appeal greatly to the Computer Science, Electronics and Mechanical students, as these are one-of-a-kind courses (80% of these courses are not taught anywhere else in India). Since my parents and almost all the extended family is in the teaching profession (everyone else is a CA, and a few stray MBAs), it made sense for me to explore this as well, and could be argued that it was inevitable. In December 2016, I officially stopped teaching courses to focus on research instead.

In June 2015, we announced our 4th service in 2 years, MakerMandi.com, which is an online platform for makers to sell their projects to people. The idea behind it was to create a platform where the members of JMoon MakerSpace could sell their products, but since then the vision has expanded to include makers, makerspaces and early stage hardware startups. The role of JMoon Technologies here is limited to just handling the back end to make it as easy for the sellers as possible. Think of MakerMandi.com as the (easier to use) combination of Etsy, Tindie, and Amazon/eBay. With this website we've made selling easier than ever.
1. FREE Product Listing.

2. ZERO Transaction Fee.
3. ZERO Payment Processing Fee.
4. No Complex Price Calculations (like you need to do when listing on eBay or Amazon, trying to figure out the price after they deduct their commission).
5. Easy Shipping (you ship to MakerMandi, and we send it where-ever it needs to go, whether in India or abroad. You don't need to figure out the shipping prices for different places).
6. FREE Marketing Platform (to help promote the startups, get them to learn marketing, and help makers spread the word about themselves and their custom services).
7. FREE Logo Listing of all sellers.
8. Get Paid Directly into Your Account.
9. Sell Around the World (because we take care of all of the shipping).
For the buyers, the main advantages are that there is no login necessary and the payment process is very fast. Buyer never gets unsolicited emails.

Alongside imparting knowledge to others, my main aim (and of the company) will always be to delve deeper into the field of Robotics. I have turned L.A.B.S. into our R&D centre, and intend to expand our team over the coming years, and create a revolutionary product (which I've had in mind since 2009) for the Indian market, so that I can get back to my love of research.

Some of my answers on Quora-
How does RoboRium make money?(asked by a concerned customer, i'm assuming)
Should Computer Science engineering students do robotics projects?
How do I become a good roboticist?
I want to learn to build robots, and coding used so which language should I prefer.
Which is better for the robotics enthusiast, Arduino or Raspberry Pi?
How do I build a basic robotic hand using servo motors and Arduino in a short amount of time?
What is it like to be with a person who has the exact same name as yours?