ENGINEERING MARVEL

Engineering students create wall climbing robot prototype

The two created the prototype as their final year Project and presented it to their supervisors for grading

In Summary

•The robot has a 2 megapixel camera fitted on top that helps in inspection of walls by checking for faults in crevices and weakness points.

•The robot is operated by a mobile app which they created

Evans Yomu and Tidi Sidi with their Prototype robot they developed
Evans Yomu and Tidi Sidi with their Prototype robot they developed
Image: /COURTESY

Two final year engineering students from JKUAT  have created a robot that is able to climb walls.

Evans Yomu,  Tidi Sidi created the prototype as their final year project and presented it to their supervisors for grading before posting it on social media as a response to the perception that Kenyans don’t innovate.

On his Twitter handle, Yomu, 29, wrote: ''This is a wall climbing robot my friend and I made. You can control it wirelessly using an app we made using a mobile/pc/mac. Not only can it climb walls, it can transition across ceilings."

"There's been a statement that 'Kenyans dont innovate'. I didn't like that so thought I'd share.'' Insisted Yomu. 

The robot has a 2 megapixel camera fitted on top that helps in inspection of walls by checking for faults in crevices and weakness points and transmit feedback to your mobile phone.

The programme used in developing the robot is ESP32 which is a series of low-cost, low-power system on a chip micro-controllers with integrated Wi-Fi, camera and dual-mode Bluetooth.

The ESP32 series employs a Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations.

By adopting this technology the duo were able to incorporate the different features in to the robot components.

According to the engineering student, the robot can also perform other operations apart from climbing walls like detect if metal beams which support a concrete building maintain a 50mm difference to the surface and check for the quality of plaster used as well as how well placed the tiles are.

The robot is fitted with a camera that checks for any cracks and creases that might also be a danger in the long run. It also helps constructors confirm whether welding joints have been done properly.

 
 

The robot is also able to plot a graph and checking for vibrations in a building’s structure is also made easy with this robot but is yet to be fully refined.

The robot is operated remotely by a mobile app which they created.

Evans Yomu and Tidi Sidi showcasing their Prototype robot
Evans Yomu and Tidi Sidi showcasing their Prototype robot

According to  Yomu, who hails from Garsen region of the Tana Delta, their main challenge is that the robot currently is not able to transcend from the y-axis to the z-axis but it’s a work in progress.

In an  interview with the Star,  the duo hope to further advance the robot to help in security such as detecting bombs and checking for security threats in times of crisis in their next creation.

But since the current robot uses a fan that is very noisy in creating a thrust, it may not be effective in tackling security challenges but they plan on working to reduce that in their next advancement.

The two have currently completed their five year course in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.