Arsh Dilbagi, 16, India
Call me “Robo,” says Arsh Shah Dilbagi. The 12th grader at DAV Public School in Panipat, India, is a young roboticist who has designed a next-generation Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device for people with conditions that prevent them from communicating verbally. His so-called TALK device relies on a user’s ability to emit just two distinct exhales, using Morse code to convert these short and long breaths into words and sentences, spoken in any of nine different voices reflective of gender and age. Dilbagi claims that TALK is thousands of dollars cheaper and three times faster than AAC devices currently on the market.