Editor's note: We're celebrating this year's impressive 20 Google Science Fair finalist projects over 20 days in our Spotlight on a Young Scientist series. Learn more about each of these inspiring young people and hear what inspires them in their own words.

Name: Eliott Sarrey

Home: Lorraine, France

Age Category: 13-15

Project: Bot2Karot: gardening through a smartphone-activated robot

Eliott loved the idea of gardens, but not the time commitment needed to tend them. He wondered whether he could apply his knowledge and passion for video games and video programming towards growing vegetables. With help from his father, he built a rolling robot controlled by a smartphone app he created. Since the manufactured Bot2Karot can use its manufactured arms and tool holders to hoe, water and transplant, Elliot’s extremely excited about the possibilities with his own robot. He believes he can broaden his initial aim to help people with limited mobility and access. 

What was the inspiration behind your project?

People I know spend a lot of time on gardening simulators (games). On the other hand, my family’s actual garden requires a lot of real work and attention. After careful observation, I wondered whether I could mix the idea of the gardening game with the fun of having real vegetables to eat. What if we could create a robot to take on cumbersome gardening tasks using our smartphones, so that gardening becomes a smartphone game?

When and why did you become interested in science? 

When I was quite young, I spent a lot of time in my father’s small workshop. I also liked to play Legos, and with this experience, I could dig into subjects like mechanics and physics. Three years ago, together with friends, I created a computer science club and a robotic club at my high school. That’s where I learned how to program. At home, I created small robots and robotic arms, which became the real inspiration for my project.

What words of advice would you share with other young scientists?

First of all, be curious! That’s how you come up with ideas. Seek solutions and always ask yourself how to improve on them. Once you have found your idea, do some research, persevere, investigate other solutions and keep optimizing your solution.