Uhuru praises UON’s Roy Alela who created smart glove for sign language


Uhuru praises UON's Roy Alela who created smart glove for sign language
Roy Alela, the inventor of Signio- smart gloves that translate sign language into speech with a 93% accuracy. Photo: Roy Alela.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the efforts of Roy Alela, a 25-year-old engineering student from Nairobi University who invented smart gloves that auto-translate sign language into speech.

Speaking at the Gusii Stadium on Tuesday during the 57th Mashujaa Day celebrations, Uhuru praised Alela as part of a new generation of Kenyan heroes.

The innovative student created the pair of gloves equipped with flex sensors in order to communicate with his niece who is deaf.

A pair of the prototype sign-io smart gloves invented by Roy Alela, 25, from the University of Nairobi. Photo: Roy Alela

The sensors quantify the bend of the fingers and process the letter being signed.

The gloves are connected to an app via Bluetooth, which then vocalizes the letters.

The gloves which will prove useful to over 30 million people across the world have an accuracy of 93 percent.

The innovator who recently won an award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) says the gloves can be customized into different superhero themes, thereby eliminating the stigma associated with deafness.

Also recognized in the presidential address are two students from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)

Michael Malombo Mwaisakenyi and Ken Kioria Gicira who call themselves  “the Knights”- no relation to the 13th-century crusaders- invented a high-tech automated weeding robot.

The robot which uses Artificial Intelligence (A.I) eliminates the need for the use of herbicides in controlling weeds.

Needless to say that the implication of this technology on our environment is momentous.

Michael Malombo Mwaisakenyi and Ken Kioria Gicira from JKUAT university pose with their invention- an A.I guided bot that uses technology in weeding, eliminating the need for herbicide use. Photo: JKUAT

The robot discriminates between weeds and crops through cameras and uses the same cameras to navigate through the farm, in-between rows of crops together with a rotary encoder.

The two knights beat nine other students’ teams from across nine European, Middle Eastern, and African countries to bag Ksh. 828 prize money in March.

Uhuru also lauded the efforts of a 800 youth currently holed in Manyani, delving into seminal programmes that include the National Wide Airborne Geophysical Survey, the Geospatial Project, the Cyber Project, Drones, and the National Security Industrial Project.

The group, the President explained, undertook mapping of Kenya’s  national resources under the National Airborne Geophysical Survey Project at a cost of Ksh.4B against the Ksh.30B that a private firm had demanded for the same project.

The teams also just completed the mapping of the entire country to the sub-location level,  for the first time since 1972.

As a result, Kenya now has an annotated inventory of all public utilities across the country, all public infrastructure, all schools both public or private, all hospitals and all other public utilities, and a description of all physical developments all the way to individual homes.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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