Ten social-minded inventors from Kenya and the region are competing in the first global competition to recognize hardware with a social purpose organized by ASME’s Innovation Showcase (ISHOW).
The competition saw 28 finalists of more than 150 who submitted designs. Three Grand Prize-winners per region will receive a share of more than $US500,000 in awards.
ASME winners will be announced to the audience in the evening at events in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ten finalists (four from Kenya, four from Uganda, and one each from Ghana and Tanzania):
- Emmanuel Kamuhire (Uganda) – Locating a patient’s vein is difficult and requires complex skill. Vein Locator offers a low cost solution for first needle success.
- Roy Allela (Kenya) – Sign-io is a sign language to speech translation glove developed to address language barriers between sign language users and the general public.
- Victor Shikoli (Kenya) – HydroIQ‘s GPS and internet-enabled device plugs into traditional water supply systems to automatically monitor water use, quality, and leakages, effectively creating a smart water grid.
- Adriana Garties (Tanzania) – Farmers spend days or even weeks threshing their grains through laborious manual methods. Multi-Crop Thresher is a portable, locally manufactured machine that threshes up to 90x faster.
- Brian Gitta (Uganda) – Matibabu is a noninvasive device used to test for Malaria. It uses custom-made hardware connected to a smartphone to aid easy diagnosis within households.
- Charles Antipem (Ghana) – Science Set is an affordable, portable, practical and highly scalable science lab that can fit in the bag and on the desk of students.
- Esther Mwangi (Kenya) – Social Inclusion Project is a social enterprise that increases access of sanitary items like pads, diapers, and condoms through locally produced vending machines in Kenya.
- George Chege (Kenya) – Smart Brooder supplies chicks with supplemental heat while monitoring and controlling the brooding space for optimal growth, using SMS to convey data.
- Kathy Ku (Uganda) – The Purifaaya filter requires no energy, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from boiling water.
- Angeline Awiti Muga (Uganda) – BabyScope is a mobile phone-based fetal heart monitor that provides maternal health caregivers comprehensive, accurate, and reliable fetal health data effectively and economically.
ASME originally created ISHOW three years ago after its research showed a tremendous lack of support for hardware innovators seeking to enter global markets and make a societal impact, according to K. Keith Roe, president of ASME. With this year’s entries among the most promising ASME has seen since ISHOW first launched, the global organization of mechanical engineers is confident they all have the potential to address some of the most challenging issues faced by mankind.