Author Archive

What mentorship and guidance leads to…

As a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist in Kenya, I have been mentoring and working with engineering students over the last one year. In their own eyes, this is what they have done and achieved over the last one year:

Kids Hacker Camp – November Edition 2013 from iHubNairobi on Vimeo.



July Build Night with sugru!!

Instructables is sponsoring monthly build nights at makerspaces and hackerspaces around the world. They are partnering with sugru for the July 2013 build night. Sugru is the exciting new self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand. It molds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight. We received our batch 2 weeks ago via Fedex for the July Build Night at the iHub on the 27th of July from 5pm – 9pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be available courtesy of WMIAfrica.

We will spend the evening making exciting stuff from sugru  and even fixing thingsCome and meet amazing makers and hackers in Nairobi such as Elizabeth Ondula behind the Picocopter and Peter Maina. REGISTER NOW



As a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist in Kenya, I have been mentoring and working with a group of 4 students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Technical University of Kenya for the last 3 months. These students are passionate, inspirational and eager to learn. They are natural innovators and makers – Festus, Hezron, Elizabeth and Muuo.

From Left: Hezron, Festus and Elizabeth
Photocredit: Festus

In their own words:

“We coming up with a  ‘Picopter’  which  is  basically a quadcopter similar to all the other flying drones we’ve seen before with one important difference – all the processing, from reading the sensors to computing exactly how much power to give each motor – is handled by a Raspberry Pi.

Thus the Raspberry Pi acts as the central “Brain” of the quadcopter with arduino  as the Slave controller. The Tasks of the Pi are to deal with logic, control and RC input processing whereas the arduino is used as an interface board for Pi, to read RC inputs and output motor control signals.”
Liz with the Picopter 
Photo credit: @whiteafrican
I will be nurturing these innovators and makers in the next few weeks. Every Saturday morning from 11am – 12pm starting July 6th 2013 for one month. I will be teaching a course on Product Design and Entrepreneurship.
If you are intested in joining this session, shoot me an email: with the subject Product Design and Entrepreneurship and in 5 bullet points tell me what you are building and why you would like to attend this course.
On Saturday, the 8th of June 2013, I met Peter Mbiria Maina (Watch video below). This inspired me to create the group 254MakerTrons  and give rise to  “ChumaBot I” . We will be working on “ChumaBot I” every Saturday after the Product Design and Entrepreneurship class.

254Makertrons from iHubNairobi on Vimeo.



ITU Telecom World 2013, organized by ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology, is looking for the next generation of social entrepreneurs for its Young Innovators Competition.Are you brave enough to transform your idea into a successful enterprise? Can your concept or startup address one of our Global Challenges? If you are aged between 18 and 26 and feel technology is your second nature, enter the Young Innovators Competition.

You could win a chance to take part in ITU Telecom World 2013 event in Bangkok plus benefits including:

  • Up to USD 10,000 in prize money for start-ups and up to USD 5,000 for concepts; both need to address one of the Global Challenges
  • High level industry mentorship for a year
  • A chance to exhibit on the showfl oor and network with high level delegates
  • Hands-on workshop training focusing on entrepreneurial skills

For details on how to enter the competition, visit or contact them at



The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day technology development event, that brings together techies across the world to address current challenges relevant to both space exploration and social need. It is an annual competition organized by NASA. The local chapter of the event will be held at iHub, on 20th – 21st April 2013, hosted by m:lab East Africa and iHub.


The International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon-style event that takes place over a 48 hour period in cities on all seven continents. NASA is leading the international collaboration with 8 other government agencies and 90 additional organizations.

The Space Apps Challenge is more than just cool NASA tech. It is also concerned with a fundamental transformation of how we interact with technology at a cultural and social level. It aims to both cultivate and contribute to the growth of open government, open data and civic hacking.

Previous events

Last year, iHub made hosted its inaugural International NASA Space Apps Challenge in partnership with FabLab Nairobi which turned out to be quite a success. The event brought together programmers, hackers and tech enthusiasts from different backgrounds as a chance to showcase their diverse skill-sets on a collaborative platform. This offered the participants a great opportunity  to both gain access to the tools and skills needed to build the different projects, as well as engage them into sharing knowledge and ideas. Moreover, one of the  participating teams in addition to winning the “People’s Choice category”  on the international NASA Challenge platform, went on to be incorporate by Access:energy for the maintenance of wind powered electricity in Kenya’s rural communities through the use electronic data mining.

Event Challenges

The challenges for the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge will be focused on improving life on Earth and life in space in the areas of open source software, open hardware, data visualization and citizen science.

These challenges will form the focus of the event and will be based on problem statements that fall into two main categories: focus on space exploration or focus on benefiting humanity (either locally or  globally). We recognise the fact that other problems may not meet this criteria, and for this reason,they unfortunately will not considered for this particular event.

We encourage participants to come up with project ideas. in the four aforementioned categories, that frame a general challenge or offer new dimensions on an existing project, this way create a new variant or start a new solution.

At the events, individuals collaborate with others by forming teams focused on solving a particular challenge. The teams compete with other teams around the world to utilize publicly available space and data to design innovative solutions to a pre- determined series of global challenges.


Anyone can participate in the International Space Apps Challenge 2013. The challenge requires individuals with a broad range of skills and with this in mind,we are looking for engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs  and anyone else with a passion for changing the world.

Participants are encouraged to develop mobile apps, software and hardware, data visualization, and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. Register today and get to participate in the challenge, follow the link below to register. . The deadline for registration is 7th April, 2013.

Categories: Robotics, Technology

iHub Team visits Konza city

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Categories: Innovation, Kenya, Technology

iHub Robotics Creative Boot Camp

The iHub Robotics Group is at it again! This time we will be conducting a two-day boot camp running from the 7th and 8th of September at the iHub using ATMEGA 32 microcontrollers.  Our challenge? To come up with and successfully build projects to suit beginners, as well as intermediary and advanced users. What we seek to do is bring together a team of creative participants from diverse backgrounds, with a basic knowledge of programming, but with a common interest in building interactive hardware in robotics and embedded system design.

We want to teach you just how your microwave, phone, tv remote or car functionality is controlled and in this way, spark an interest in design simple, day-to-day applications and solutions built for and by Kenyans.

Among this edition’s projects are:

  • The Robot:  The beginner team will be run through how to build, code and control a simple rover bot whose speed and direction can be controlled.
  • The Weather Man: This is a real-time micro- weather station that gives ambient weather conditions through the use of humidity sensors, temperature sensors (thermistors) and a LCD display- all of which will be controlled using an ATMEGA 32 microcontroller. This challenge is suitable for intermediary users.
  • The Robot Make- Over: The challenge here will be to build an arm for the robot that moves in the horizontal and vertical directions. On the arm will a gripper for clasping objects; the gripper will be used pick and drop objects. The ‘make-over’ will also involve building a Robot Status system that gives the direction in which it is moving as well as whether it has picked or dropped an object.
  • Robot monitoring via mobile phone: Participants will be required to use a mobile phone tethered to a microcontroller to get updates on the status of each of the three above systems and thus integrates their functionality.

We’re eagerly awaiting your participation so make sure you register for the boot camp by 5th September, 2012 so as not to miss out on this unique opportunity.

“At the bottom of it, robotics is about us. It is the discipline of emulating our lives, of wondering how we work.”

ROD GRUPEN, Discover Magazine

POSTED BY: Juliette Wanyiri from iHub