Two form four students might soon enter into Tanzania’s history of innovators after designing affordable software called ‘automatic vibration lock system’ with aims at strengthening security to public.
Rickson Moshi and Christopher Wambura want to see their technology improve security in the country, but also to help the government in attaining its industrialisation economy agenda.
Like other innovators their dream is to become formidable forces in the world of tech and innovation in Tanzania and beyond in ten years’ time. “Innovation is everything. Industrialisation is only achievable with affordable and relevant innovation,” said Moshi, adding there are young people who are able to innovate various technologies but don’t know where to demonstrate their work.
Thanks to Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), two students travelled all the way from the school of St Jude in Arusha to Dar es Salaam to demonstrate their innovation.
The innovators mainly wanted to focus on a security system that is not easily vulnerable to hackers like the existing technological systems in Tanzania.
Security systems like CCT camera, access control at a domestic or industrial level and motion detection here sometimes susceptible to being hacked.
The two students from of St Jude Secondary School in Arusha recently travelled to Dar es Salaam to showcase their security system technology at the 12th Tanzania Commission of Universities (TCU) exhibitions held in July this year. Dr Janeth Marwa from NM-AIST School of Business, Studies and Humanities (Bush) said such exhibitions are good for young scientific innovators to display their innovations.
She said the science fair encourages and motivates young people to love science subjects as per the university motto. “We are confident to invest in future youth innovators,” said Dr Marwa.
The university usually celebrates the late Mandela’s birthday on every July 18 by organising a Nelson Mandela Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation Week, aimed at implementing the vision of Mandela who wanted to invest in the youth.
Secondary schools based in Arusha were invited to participate in the science fair and showcase their scientific innovations. Over 50 students from six schools were attended this year’s science fair.
“Our aim is to encourage and motivate youth to love science subjects which is the university motto, adding there are a number of students who are talented and can design things which may help the government in their development projects,” said Dr Marwa.
Producing more scientists is also a good sign of achieving the government‘s ambitious dream of industrialising the economy. At the exhibition, various technologies were displayed and they were very useful to solving various problems.
Affordable automatic vibration lock system by two students from the School of St Jude stood out of the others. Innovators received a certificate and Sh300, 000 as motivations.
Winning the Nelson Mandela Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation Week was a ticket for Rickson Moshi and Christopher Wambura’s jetting to Dar es Salaam for TCU exhibition.
“Our goal is to tell people that there are young innovators who have big ideas and if well nurtured can help solve problems that need scientific means,” she said.
She added that the impact of investing in young people is to create sustainability of scientists in coming years “The regime of President John Magufuli should continue investing in youth,” she notes.
It has been further noted that in order to achieve the agenda and sustainability of industries there’s a need to build a good foundation through the young generation who would run the machinery in the coming years.
How the journey of innovation started
According to Rickson, in 2014 he innovated a technology of producing electricity by using sweet potatoes; unfortunately his idea was not taken into consideration.
“Basically it was not easy as my father in the beginning ignored me. I remember after I introduced to him my idea he said I paid school fees so that you can study but you come here with potatoes,” he recounts.
But later his father started to understand him after the school administration invited him to participate in one of the science fairs which his innovation had made it to the top three.
It was different with Christopher whose father is an IT professional. He got support from his parents in terms of finance, encouragement and sometimes worked together with his father.
“Whenever I had an idea, my father worked with me to ensure it becomes successful,” he told Success. “We would like to acknowledge our science teachers at the School of St. Jude for providing space and resources fort this project,”
“We would like to acknowledge Mandela University faculty members for great support on how to improve our projects and providing an opportunity and support for us to attend TCU exhibitions,” they said
Last year, the two joined together by starting to design different technological things with focus on addressing social problems. One of the areas they found was security.
“On top of security system we designed, we have a number of ideas that we are planning to display to the public,” said Rickson.
The young innovators are now encouraging other students to take science subjects because there are more opportunities given the development of the field of science and technology.
“We thanked Mandela University for their support and financing our trip to the exhibitions,” they said adding they advise other innovators not to end up grabbing awards and money but rather develop their technologies.
They said during the holiday they spend most of their time at Christopher’s daddy office to develop their technologies.
How the technology operates
It’s simple to use and can be adaptive (customized depending on the user needs), it’s an alternative to existing technologies like password, biometric, eye retina detection, CCTV and access control. The knocking methods are simple to learn and use (could be done too fast, slowly or combination of both at any pace required...there is no fixed knocking time). The system can be connected to user mobile phone, email or CCTV.
Also the project can be developed and modified into a final product which can be used at a domestic or industrial level. If the user forgets the password the system can send massage through mobile or email or any other information system and provide a reminder.
The software is programed in simple language to interface the input and output computer system (Digital) to respond to real life signal (Analogy such as pressure, motion, vibrations)
Just as any other technology there might be limitations to this system, user memory of knocking pattern and pace and frequency. There is still a challenge to keep total cost of ownership low to allow as many people as possible to own the technology.
According to the innovators, the access pattern to the security system is one of its best features, adding the system cannot be hacked due to its function. “Other security systems, for example the signatory or fingerprint one can scan and use it,” said they innovators
According to them, the invention is very cheap and can be fixed. It is far more affordable than CCTV. Their software per one door can be fixed, the password costing between Sh80, 000 to Sh100, 000 depending on customer’s specifications.
“Currently we haven’t started yet as we are still concentrating on studies and there are some few things that need to be completed in that software,” said the two students
Benefit of using the system
No need to walk with the keys of the door. It reduces the inconvenience if you return home late and the people are asleep as just tapping the door will open.
It’s easy and friendly to all people even disabled because the software can be fixed at areas which are easily accessible.