Robotics business sells machines to perform chores
DHS student says robots can cut grass, wash windows
Julian Charron, a junior at Destrehan High School, kneels next to a robot he and other students built.
Using the experience he has gained as a member of the DHS Robotics team, Charron is planning to make that dream a reality by starting a business that sells domestic robots to homeowners across the area who need help with those chores.
“It’s really just to provide consumers with quality robots that can do different things,” Charron said. “Vacuums, mops, lawn mowers, pool cleaners, window cleaners, toys and different things like that.”
As part of the robotics team, Charron already creates robots. Recently, Charron helped build a machine that is capable of slinging Frisbees through a plywood target.
“Me and another student designed the prototype suction cup that picks up the Frisbee,” he said. “But the entire project is a team effort.”
Charron anticipates running his business, Robots for Home, through college. Eventually, he wants to branch out into constructing his own robots.
Charron’s plan was formulated after he was selected as a member of the second class of the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (YEA!), a program set up by the River Region Chamber of Commerce to provide assistance to local students who would like to set up their own businesses.
Charron said the program has really changed the way he looks at business.
“The help they have provided has been outstanding,” he said. “They came to our school and I was wanting to start a business before, but I didn’t have all of the tools. I was missing a couple of pieces and they filled in those gaps.”
YEA! serves select students in grades 6 through 12. The students are matched up with local small business owners and entrepreneurs who provide advice and help. The program runs from September through May, and along the way students develop a business plan and put it in the practice.
The River Regions Chamber not only provides YEA! students one-on-one assistance from local business owners, but also holds informational sessions on sometimes overlooked aspects of running a small business such as accounting practices, insurance, marketing and internet commerce strategies.
The last is particularly relevant to Charron because in addition to running a company that focuses on high tech products, he will be forgoing the traditional business route of setting up shop in a physical location. Instead, he will offer a website where customers can purchase his products.
“We are in the process of designing the website right now. Our goal is to launch in about three months,” he said. Other local students are in the process of getting their business plans together as well.
Mariah Brown, a junior at Hahnville High School, is creating Sweets with Sounds, which would pair desserts with containers that play music when you open them.
Another culinary company is Flavor Flares, a Cajun spice company that DHS junior Nigel Frere is currently planning.
Of the four students from St. Charles Parish participating in YEA! this year, Malik Johnson is going a far more traditional route than that of his peers. The DHS senior is planning on setting up Malik’s Lawn Care that will provide grass cutting and landscaping to local residents.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in the next class of the YEA! program, applications are available at www.riverregionchamber.org/YEA.html or by calling the River Region Chamber at (985) 359-9777.
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The last time Hahnville and Destrehan squared off in district softball action, the Wildcats handed the Tigers their first loss in that rivalry in nearly a decade. Last Tuesday, Hahnville earned a measure of payback.