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Indian Techie Started At 42, Now His Unique Invention Bags Sci-Tech Award At Oscars!

It has been proven time and again that it’s never too late to be an entrepreneur. From KFC founder Colonel Sanders to IBM’s father Charles Flint, people have repeatedly debunked the myth that age hinders progress.

Today, we have one such person who has dismissed all the stereotypes and proved everyone wrong who think that success can only be attained if you start your venture at a younger age. Vikas Sathaye, a 51-year-old Indian engineer, was part of the team that bagged an award at the Oscars 2018 for their groundbreaking invention.

Finding passion and chasing dreams at 42

Born in 1967, Vikas grew up in Mumbai. He completed his diploma and M.Tech in instrumentation and started teaching at Cummins College of Engineering for Women in Pune for seven years. During the course of his work, Vikas was sent to Italy for a project with Fiat for three months. It was this experience that inspired him to enter the field of embedded software technology.

In 2009, the embedded systems engineer then joined Shotover Camera Systems based in Queenstown, New Zealand. During his three-year-long tenure there, Vikas developed the software for K1.

“One of the reasons to start this company in Queenstown was the natural beauty and stunning scenery which attract a lot of film producers and directors,” he said.

The team that developed the camera system had four members, Vikas, John Coyle, Brad Hurndell, and Shane Buckham as the lead electrical and software engineer. Together, the technologists developed an elaborate system that massively impacted the realm of motion pictures.

What’s Shotover K1 Camera System?

The entire system includes a camera mount that gets attached to the base of a helicopter, which carries the camera and lens. The primary function of the mount is to eliminate any vibration of the helicopter from reaching the camera and thus getting a steady footage. The other function of the camera mount is to move the camera head in the desired direction as required by the camera operator.

The operator sits inside the helicopter and uses a joystick to control the camera head movement. This aerial mount or gimbal was named Shotover K1. This innovative six-axis stabilized aerial camera mount, with its enhanced ability to frame shots while looking straight down, enables greater creative freedom and results in clear, unwavering photography and videography.

Shotover K1 Camera System has been used in films like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dunkirk, Spectre, Inferno, Captain America: Civil War among many others. Bollywood film D-Day directed by Nikhil Advani also used this camera system.

Winning laurels

Vikas and his team’s contribution got the deserved attention in 2018 when they were felicitated with the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award at the Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards, 2018. They received the award for their contribution towards conceptualization, designing, engineering, and the implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System.

While many of us contemplate about the success of our ventures even at a young age, Vikas started his venture at the age of 42 and went on to win an Oscar for his groundbreaking contribution. He has shown all of us that age is no barrier to chase our dreams and follow our passion.

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