Never went to college but Kiambu duo have built a robotic coronavirus decontaminator

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David Gathu and Moses Kiuna, the brains behind the coronavirus decontaminator engineering. [Photo: Nation]

At the heart of Thogoto, a fast-growing neighbourhood in Kikuyu constituency, two Form Four leavers are busy at work.

Sandwiched between a chicken coop and a sheep pen, David Gathu and Moses Kiuna are putting their brains to work in building robotic medical equipment.

This has been their post of duty for the last 10 years. Currently, they are working on a coronavirus decontaminator system.

It is designed to work with brain signals and executed by a prosthetic arm and a pulse reader.

The duo explained that their engineering is driven by the availability of computer motherboards from old sets.

“We use old computer motherboards, transistors, wood and scrap metal to assemble our prototypes. All our materials are sourced locally,” Kiuna, 26 told Daily Nation.

The coronavirus decontaminator is part of their effort in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

This prototype converts oxygen into a chain of reactions through the oxide.

‘‘The oxide, which is a highly reactive compound, then destroys proteins that make up viruses, fungi and bacteria through oxidation,’’ Gathu explained of the device that took nine months to assemble.

He says that they started working on it after reports of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) emerged.

MERS has chemical engineering similar to those of COVID-19.

Gathu opines that the coronavirus decontaminator is a good bet for schools and myriad public facilities with a lot of human traffic.

In a matter of minutes, the machine can decontaminate a room.

The prosthetic arm developed to full working in two years is designed to help those with a disability to perform tasks that they, otherwise, wouldn’t perform without assistance.

It is connected to the brain where it executes different signals sent by the brain.

The prosthetic hand can answer phone calls, lift objects and switch on lights.

Gathu and Kiuna’s hope is that they will get funding to source more and modern materials to continue with their God-given talent that is engineering.

They have also called for the creation of a tech hub to enable them to build and test more medical prototypes.

‘‘We need a tech hub where we can carry out more research and tests on our equipment and to create more prototypes,’’ Kiuna says.