Unveiling the Power of Learning

Om KakkadJune 3, 2024AI and the Future of KnowledgeAwesome Moments
Unveiling the Power of Learning

Artwork by Cayetano Almodovar, age 15, Spain

AI has the potential to bring huge changes in our lives.

If you are an artist, you could use it to generate reference images. If you are a student, it can be used to help you to understand any difficult subject. The possibilities with AI are endless.

One such possibility came to my mind during my long drives to the golf course. Driving to my golf club took more than one hour. Golf is a game of constant practice, most of which is required on the putting green, where the player needs to putt the ball with precision into the pin. This requires a lot of practice to get good at, and even more to master. Driving to the club was not only time consuming but also costly to do on a regular basis. It also reduced the number of times I got to practice, and the amount of time I could dedicate to it.

I knew there had to be a better way to practice my golf putting without making the long drive to the course. Initially I tried to solve this problem by practicing on a putting mat on the flat floor. This meant I could practice from my home, with no excess travel time, increasing the amount of time I could practice significantly. But this was in no way the ideal solution, as a golf green is never completely flat. An actual green will have many different lines and will be at numerous angles, meaning you have to putt the ball at a certain line for it to sink in the hole.

Then it came to me: What If I could simulate putting inside of my own home? A personal project emerged — a school initiative that would redefine my understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship. This time, I decided to harness AI's potential to create an innovative golf putting simulator right in my living room. This idea of a golf putting simulator table blended my passion for technology and golf. Countless hours were spent refining the design, perfecting the mechanics, and overcoming challenges.

First, I started making concept sketches. They looked fine, but then I noticed a few problems, such as how the balls were going to return to the player, and more importantly how this project could even be economically feasible. Feeling a mix of frustration and determination, I used the power of AI, in particular Chat GPT. I remember the exact moment I typed in the prompt: "Design a reliable ball return system for a tilting golf putting simulator." Instantly, I was flooded with ideas. It was as if a door had opened, illuminating my path forward. Then I combined the AI-generated ideas with my own knowledge and came up with a design that had metal pipes under the simulator, guiding the balls from the holes into the bucket.

The other problem, most difficult of the two, was now the only thing stopping me from building this simulator — the cost. Golf putting simulators tend to cost thousands of dollars, far beyond what I could afford to allocate to this project. Most of this cost stemmed from actuators, of which I needed at least two. So, I again turned to AI, which suggested using actuators from old hospital beds so that I could get them for cheaper (I mean much cheaper). It was a game-changing idea that made the project not only feasible but also affordable.

AI also helped in a few other minor ways; I used image-generating AI to generate the design on the remote of the simulator and also the design on the sides, giving it an aesthetic appeal.

The final outcome of my golf putting simulator was a success, which would not have been possible without the use of AI. AI helped with both the economic feasibility of the product and also its core functionality. I am sure this will change my putting game for the better, while saving my time and money.

When the moment finally arrived that my invention was granted a patent, it was a validation of my hard work and dedication. But beyond the accolades, it was a testament to the transformative power of technology to bridge passions, foster innovation, and drive positive change.

Looking back on that moment, I learned the immense value AI can have for any project, helping us generate unique ideas and solve problems. It wasn’t just about mastering skills; it was about embracing the journey of self-discovery and personal growth. AI has completely changed the way I tackle problems and I will be sure to use it in every future project, and also in everyday life.

As I continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology, I carry with me the lessons learned from this transformative experience — a reminder of the endless possibilities that lie at the intersection of passion, knowledge, and innovation.

Om Kakkad is a 14-year-old from India. He is a sports enthusiast and is passionate about golf. It is not only the vast green expanse of golf that beckons him, it is also coding, game development, drawing, and music that fill his day with interesting engagements. And one thing he never misses is his fun time with his five pet dogs.