Mutahi Ngunyi to Pay Fees for Kenyans Who Invented Robot

  • The robotics invention by the innovators from Kiambu County.
    The robotics invention by the innovators from Kiambu County.
  • Political analyst Prof Mutahi Ngunyi has begun the search of two Kenyans whose robotic arm invention went viral worldwide.

    Speaking to on Tuesday, May 25, Ngunyi offered to pay the university fees of the two individuals, David Gathu and Moses Kinyua.

    The political scientist added that the offer was made on behalf of members of the Friends of Uhuru Kenyatta (FoUK) organisation to which he belongs. He noted that he was amazed by the invention especially since it gets commands from brain sensors.

    Ngunyi further revealed that the organisation would also help connect the two individuals with global firms to help them finesse the product and have it rolled out en masse.

    File image of political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi
    File image of political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi

    "We will settle the entire of it (fees), whatever is outstanding and we will settle for their entire course. When I saw that and wondered 'how do you create a Brain sensor?' We will help them look for support.

    "I don't think we have that kind of money (for the rollout of their invention). The only thing is that we can connect them with important institutions like the Jack Ma Foundation and such that supports innovations of this kind," he explained.

    The two gifted youth developed state-of-the-art prosthesis robotics for persons living with disability.

    Their invention incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and uses mind-reading technology. To operate the machine, a patient will strap on the robotics and put on a brain-computer interface (BCI). The device allows for direct communication between the brain and the machine.

    The technology hence allows a user to operate a prosthetic arm that receives commands from the brain.

    “By just thinking of an action, a user can operate a vehicle, switch on and off the lights as well as operate a computer,” the duo disclosed.

    Their invention attracted global attention and was covered widely including Al Jazeera, BBC among others.

    Speaking to BBC, the two noted that they developed the arm without prior university education but mastered the craft after spending time with their uncle who was a radio and TV repairman.

    "We had an uncle who was a TV and radio repairman and he taught us about how the radio works and he had a lot of books by then. 

    "It is just like a microphone. It listens to the brain waves that are coming up from the skull," explained one of the partners. They also noted that the possibilities of the technology are endless.

    The prosthetics arm invented by the innovators in action
    The prosthetics arm invented by the innovators in action

    However, they cited the lack of quality materials as a major challenge and had resorted to using scrap metals to build the robotics.

    “We source for various materials from electronic dealers and various dumpsites in villages and towns,” they stated.

    They had called upon the government and international bodies to assist in the technology for it to be produced in a mass capacity.

    Friends of Uhuru Kenyatta

    Ngunyi explained that FoUK consisted of individuals who support President Uhuru Kenyatta noting that he would summon them to help the two inventors access university education.

    "It is an organisation of his friends. We are not so many. We are quite a number. It consists of anybody who does not speak negatively about him.

    "Uhuru Kenyatta has many friends. We shall just look for one another, raise the money and issue a cheque. We don't do fundraising. The organisation has capacity," he concluded.

    The helmet which uses Brain Computer Interface technology.
    The helmet which uses Brain Computer Interface technology.