Diaper ATM inventor in race for Sh50 million
An innovator who has created a village ATM for sanitary pads, condoms and diapers is among the four Kenyan finalists in the first international competition for hardware-led social innovation.
The competitors stand a chance of winning Sh50 million ($500,000 ) in cash and in-kind to help bring socially innovative hardware-led solutions to the market.
The competition was organised by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the world’s largest mechanical engineering organisation.
Ten of the finalists, from Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, will present their prototypes next month in Nairobi.
Other regional presentations will be done in India and the US, the society announced in a statement.
The winners selected in Nairobi and in Bangalore, India, and Washington DC will share Sh50 million in seed grants, technical assistance, design and engineering reviews and access to the 2017 ASME Innovation Showcase partnership network.
“With this year’s entries, among the most promising we’ve seen since Ishow first launched, we’re confident they all have the potential to address some of the most vexing issues faced by mankind.”
The Kenyan innovations include a noninvasive device created by Brian Gitta to test for malaria. It uses custom-made hardware, which is then connected to a smartphone for easy diagnosis.
Esther Mwangi has devised a system to increase access of sanitary items including pads, diapers and condoms through locally fabricated vending machines.
George Chege has created a system to brood chicks with heat to keep them warm.
The last innovation by Angeline Muga is a mobile phone-based fetal heart monitor that enables caregivers to serve pregnant mothers effectively by providing comprehensive data.