In what could be the week’s most touching viral story, a 10-year-old girl from Paris, France has been awarded a PhD Fellowship to make a 3D printed robot with the express purpose of cheering up the streets of paris.
Earlier this year, the young girl, Eva, submitted an application for the prestigious Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship, a two-week long fellowship program that is typically geared towards PhD students and other experienced scientists, engineers, and designers. The fellowship is organized by Paris based digital agency Five by Five.
Upon seeing the young girl’s application, which presented an idea for a robot capable of creating street art to cheer up the people of Paris, Five by Five’s founder Kat Borlongan was not only touched, but inspired to help her. In the application, Eva explains that she has tried to build the robot herself using kid-friendly Thymio robots but has struggled with the execution.
Kat Borlongan
She says, “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.”
To be fair, Eva’s own version of the robot is impressive in itself, as the innovative ten-year-old even 3D printed larger wheels and a chalk holder for her Thymio robot and coded it to be able to draw a 5 point star.
Borlongan, who shared Eva’s inspiring and humble application on Facebook, received more than 40,000 shares, undoubtedly making people’s days everywhere. Borlongan also published her reply to Eva, which informs the young girl that she has indeed be chosen as one of Paris’ first-ever Summer Innovation Fellows.
The letter to Eva reads, “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.”
According to Borlongan, who contacted Thymio, the robotics company will be appointing their President as a specialist to help Eva develop her street-art robot during the fellowship program. The company has also offered her their newest robot model.
Perhaps one day, if you’re walking down the streets of Paris and see a particularly inspiring piece of street art, it will have been done by Eva’s own robot.

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