10-Year-Old Girl Wins PhD Fellowship To Build Friendly Robot


A 10-year-old French girl, Eva, has won a prestigious fellowship designed for PhD students to help build a robot that can create street art, walk the streets of Paris and make people happy.

Eva applied to the Summer Innovation Fellowship run by digital agency Five by Five, intended for experienced computer scientists, asking them for assistance. Her heartwarming application charmed the programme’s creator.

According to the Five by Five group that coordinates the Summer Innovation Fellowship learning scheme, Eva wrote in her application letter:

“The streets of Paris are sad. I want to build a robot that will make them happy again. I’ve already starting learning how to code on Thymio robots, but I have trouble making it work. I want to join the program so the mentors can help me.”

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Five by Five’s founder, Kat Borlongan in a reply said yes to Eva, adding that it’s a great idea. In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 40,000 times, Borlongan told the girl;

10-year-old wins PhD fellowship 2

“I am writing to you personally because your application inspired me. There was nothing on the website that said the program was open to 10-year-olds but – as you must have noticed – nothing that said that it was not.

You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help. That was a brave thing to admit, and ultimately what convinced us to take on your project.

Humility and the willingness to learn in order to go beyond our current limitations are at the heart and soul of innovation.”

The Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship boasts of bringing together “bright young minds” and granting them the resources to achieve great goals.

Eva had reportedly contacted Thymio, the robot company whose technology Eva was using, to help her with the project. Thymio builds motorised robots that are used to teach children to program by responding to their commands.

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Despite asking for help, Eva had already demonstrated impressive technological aptitude. She had 3D-printed bigger wheels and a chalk holder for her Thymio, and coding it to draw a star pattern.