Cape Flats man uses self-made robots to teach kids about 4th Industrial Revolution
Through their technology innovation company RD9 Solutions, Van Balla and his business partner, Ridhaa Benefeld, have designed a curriculum for programming, electronics and robotics.
The company works towards solving everyday problems with creative, cost-effective technological solutions.
It provides skills to the youth in programming, data science and big data, skills which are required to be taught in emerging career fields.
Van Balla says they are inspired by technology and dedicated to making it accessible to others so that they, too, can be inspired.
“We make technology more accessible to the masses. We allow kids to be exposed to and learn about programming from a very young age.
“We allow the innovators and game-changers of tomorrow to get a head start on their careers today,” he said.
Van Balla’s career has been supported by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship programme, which he joined in 2011.
Van Balla said: “I remember that while we may not have had much while I was growing up, I was exposed to many new things and opportunities.
“While I didn’t own one, I had frequent access to a computer from about 5 years old. This opportunity sparked my love and interest for technology and influenced my career choice.”
RD9 Solutions has held a few pilots with various schools and institutions, and is building a platform that encourages self-learning and exploration.
“I am passionate about teaching and empowering others. In five years time, I see us expanding our offering not only across South Africa, but throughout Africa.
“I see us making a lasting contribution to the lives of the African youth through our work,” said Van Balla.@Sukainaish