Students make robot that helps pick litter in school

Kilembwa secondary students have designed a robot that helps pick litter in school

For many schools across the country, the morning hours before classes start are set aside for cleaning and especially picking litter. It is an age-old practice that helps to instil a sense of responsibility in students and make the environment conscious.

However, this task can be time-wasting and it is for this reason that students of Kilembwa Secondary in Mwala, Machakos County, are coming with a robot that will help pick litter so that they can focus on their studies. The robot dubbed ‘lobster’ is supported by Kenya Connect (KC), a local NGO in conjunction with Future Investment Initiative (FII), a global nonprofit foundation. The two organisations partnered to provide the learners with laptops and robotic kits that were used to innovate the robot.

Mr Michael Muthama, a teacher at the school, said the availability of Information, Communication and Technology infrastructure in the school has increased the students’ interest in technological innovation.

“The computer lab has changed the attitude of learners in school and during computer class, the students are very keen,” said Muthama.

He said despite the school being located in a remote place, the students have an opportunity to innovate through the help of KC and FII. Muthama noted that the project will give the students vital ICT skills that will give them a competitive edge once they leave school. Maxwell Karanja, a form two student who aspires to be an aeronautical engineer, hailed the project saying it had given him a chance to learn ICT.

Karanja noted that once operational, the robot will save the students time spent on cleaning the school and instead focus on their studies. “When we come to school in the morning, we are supposed to clean the whole compound so the robot will help us clean as we focus on our studies in the morning,” said Karanja.

He added that the robot will help reduce the risk of infection among students since they pick litter with their bare hands. Karanja observed that the robot will have colour sensors which will be programmed using the computer and the robot will sense and pick the litters according to the colours programmed and dispose them to a dustbin.

The student further noted a computer will be programmed to monitor the robot’s movements around the compound as it senses and locates the litter. Kenya Connect is an NGO in Mwala Sub County whose aim is to engage and empower students and teachers to excel.

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