As the curtains fell during the 9th JKUAT Tech Expo, Thursday, January 24, 2019, two innovations; Walking Buddy and Safari Wiz emerged joint winners from a field of 20 innovations. The Walking Buddy innovation exhibited by Sackey Freshia, is a smart walking stick that will be useful to the visually impaired. The stick alerts the users when they are approaching obstacles, and can predicts their distance from the obstacles, using vibrations and audio cues.
“The stick is integrated with Google Maps, enabling the user to navigate to a given location on their own, using an audio guide. It also comes with a button that a user can press to immediately contact a person (their emergency contact) in case of anything, and sends their precise location to the contact,” explicates Freshia.
Safari Wiz, presented by Gilbert Waliuba, Benson Thuku, Lang’at Nelson and Jaffred Simiyu on the other hand, is a portable Mobile App that employs GIS, GPS, Maps and Real time alerts to enable road users; drivers and passengers alike, to send and view alerts on accidents, bad weather conditions, police roadblocks, potholes among other road eventualities along the road they are travelling on.
According to Gilbert Waliuba, Safari Wiz will play a critical role in reducing road accidents, congestion and enhance the response time of emergency services to road accidents.
Job Muchama, Elias Koome, Hassan Adan and Gideon Omangi with their innovation, Path Finder bagged the 1st runner up position at JKUAT Tech Expo 9.0. The innovation, using light dependent sensors, redefines the way we mount our solar panels so as to maximize the exposure to sunlight.
“An active tracking system is used where the solar panel is placed on the shaft of a motor and the motor is given maximum rotation such that the solar panel is always oriented at 90 degrees to receive the maximum sunlight,” said Waliuba.
He is confident that this will enhance efficient utilization of the power generated by the solar panel giving the user optimum use of solar power.
Drink driving has been a menace on our roads, causing death and grief to many families. Paul Rukwaro, Liz Kasomo and Stephen Muchiri with their Auto Alcoblow innovation have just the answer to curb drink driving. Claiming 2nd runner up position at the Expo, Auto Alcoblow is an automated alcohol detection system that senses the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of a driver and prevents ignition of the engine if the allowed alcohol limit is exceeded.
“We have also incorporated an aspect where the system sends a text message to a relative or close friend of the driver informing them that the driver is not in a good condition to drive in the hope that they can come and ‘rescue’ the driver,” elucidated Muchiri.
Since inception, the Expo has seen people throng the exhibition booths where through a social media campaign they pick their favorite innovation under the People’s Choice Award. Through this campaign, Zima na Text innovation scooped the fiercely competitive award. Exhibited by Joseph Ngatia Mwaniki, Denis Mwangi Kariuki and Marystella Natasha Zima na Text innovation is a home automation system that is design to make use of SMS to control home electronic appliances and save electrical power.
“Zima na Text innovation brings a solution to home automation that gives both safety and remote control of electrical appliances hence, protecting your home, and electrical devices from electrical losses,” explains Ngatia.