Night Vision Start-Up Star: Arvind Lakshmikumar,/strong>
Arvind Lakshmikumar has been called the Tony Stark of new military technology, after the hero from the Iron Man comic books. Like Stark, Lakshmikumar is an entrepreneur with an eye for improving military operations. His start-up company, Tonbo Imaging, is based in Bengaluru, India. Tonbo Imaging provides the Indian military with high-end equipment.
Lakshmikumar graduated with Master’s degrees in software systems and chemistry from Birla Institute of Technology and Science. He then moved to Ohio to get a degree in electrical engineering. From there, he made his way to Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where he was a robotics researcher and a doctoral student. Finally, in 2008, Lakshmikumar decided to start his own company, and Tonbo Imaging was born.
Although science is the setting of each of these books, they are actually about the people who work hard to learn something in a new field and then start a company in that field. There are five main examples in each book along with several other cases either in the text or pictures with brief captions. The entrepreneurs chosen cover a wide variety of individuals and include some very well-known figures that readers will have heard of already. Other examples come from around the world in a wide variety of technology areas important to that locality. The applications in each book do pull together under the topic though there are some that are mentioned in more than one book.
The first section of each book is “You can be an Entrepreneur!” This includes a definition of a start-up and an entrepreneur along with some history or an inspiring story. This is followed by five main sections of four pages introducing an application of the type of technology and an example of a start-up company. The last section consists of two parts; the first is “Entrepreneurs Changing the World” (except for Space Entrepreneurs) and “Your Start-Up Story”. These are both inspirational with further brief examples, suggestions for studying science and math, both necessary to make inventions, and a challenge to try out.
Each book is a good mix of text in small neat sections, pictures to illustrate the concept(s) being presented and lots of pictures of the people involved in the area discussed with captions explaining why they are important or some background. The table of contents highlights the examples by giving them an orange background. Each book has a glossary, index and both books and websites where more information can be found. There is an approximately equal mix of the science and the people making progress with a focus on how any of us can accomplish firsts, find solutions and start a business to bring our invention to the public.
The contents of Military Entrepreneurs reveal that the military is an area at the forefront of innovation. This book includes self-driving cars, the use of robotics, night vision and security using flying drones. Of all the books in the series, this book has the greatest ‘wow’ factor. The focus is on the technological solutions to problems that are faced in the field of defense and warfare, such as the use of prosthetics for those who have lost limbs in combat or in accidents. Additionally, robots are now used in many areas of the military and aid soldiers in many ways. All of this is introduced in this book as well as prosthetics.
This series is aimed at both technology and business students. For those interested in engineering, they can see that there are ways to apply this knowledge to start a company and get products out to the world. For those who want to go into business, the series suggests that ideas can come from many areas of technology and that entrepreneurs can find a niche where they can provide something that no one else has yet discovered. In both ways, these are inspirational books, encouraging a crossover between subjects that can only help the student and our society in finding ways to help people here and around the world.
The books in the series work well together and would make a wonderful addition to a school library. Even personal libraries would benefit from two or more books on the topics most in line with the interests of the child.
Willow Moonbeam is a cataloguing librarian with many hobbies who enjoys learning new things. Living in Toronto allows consumption of many and varied interests.