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
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.
- Liz with the Picopter
- Photo credit: @whiteafrican
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 world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/ or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: JUNE 30TH, 2013
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.
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.
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. http://spaceappschallenge.org/location/nairobi/ . The deadline for registration is 7th April, 2013.
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
Applications for TED2013 Fellows are due by Friday, July 13, 2012 11:59pm US/Eastern. Click here to apply! Here are some of the Kenyan Fellows from 2010 – todate:
Juliana Rotich (Kenya/US) – Co-founder, Ushahidi.com; blogger, Afromusing and Global Voices
Erik Hersman (Kenya) – Co-founder, Ushahidi.com; blogger, AfriGadget and White African
Boniface Mwangi (Kenya) – Kenyan photojournalist and founder of Picha Mtaani, a youth-led national reconciliation initiative in Kenya
Su Kahumbu-Stephanou (Kenya) – Kenyan entrepreneur promoting the development of an organic food industry in Kenya
Alex Odira Odundo (Kenya) – Kenyan inventor of the Sisal Decorticator, a device turning sisal plant into fibre, and the Sisal Twinner, a device turning sisal fibre into rope.
Joel Jackson (UK | Kenya) – Auto innovator – British mobility entrepreneur and founder of Mobius Motors, a Kenya-based company designing and manufacturing a first-of-its-kind affordable vehicle made expressly for the unique customer requirements and often-poor road conditions found in the developing world.
Cyrus Kabiru (Kenya) – Found object artist – Kenyan self-taught painter and sculptor who primarily uses junk materials to make his works, including striking eyewear
Jessica Colaco (Kenya) – Researcher and Mobile Tech Evangelist
From April-June 2012, TED will hold public auditions in 14 cities on six continents seeking to uncover new talents, voices and ideas the world needs to hear. The fourth audition is in Nairobi, Kenya on May 5th, and applications for speakers have opened.
Anyone can apply to audition, so long as they have not spoken at a TED Conference, and do not have a talk posted on TED.com. Applicants will be encouraged to include a short video of themselves and we will be inviting around 30 of the best applicants to each audition.
TED is looking for:
THE INVENTOR … sharing an innovation with world-changing potential
THE TEACHER … sharing valuable knowledge in a memorable way – to teenagers or adults
THE PRODIGY … young talent ready to break out
THE ARTIST … who can showcase their work in a compelling, new way (Don’t just talk about it. Show us your work!)
THE PERFORMER … music, dance, comedy, drama… or something entirely different
THE SAGE … wisdom the world needs from those who have learned it the hard way
THE ENTHUSIAST … with an infectious passion about a topic they can share
THE CHANGE-AGENT … helping shape the world’s future with work that matters
THE STORY-TELLER … vivid, original, meaningful … with a talent for connection
THE SPARK … with a powerful idea worth spreading
For more information on the TED Worldwide Auditions, please visit the TED2013 audition website.