iPIC Research Group

Drone: Drone Research Group

DRG is a multi-disciplinary group of teaching and technical staff drawn from JKUAT’s Colleges of Engineering & Technology and Pure & Applied Science.

The main objective of DRG is to curate and enhance the assembly and manufacture of drones/ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and their sensors, and application of data acquired using UAVs in various fields including survey & mapping, agriculture, and architecture, facility inspection and maintenance.

DRG aims to undertake these activities in line with the established legal framework for the use, assembly, and manufacture of drones in Kenya (The Civil Aviation (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Regulations, 2020, Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Manual of Implementing Standards).

[Find more details] https://drone.jkuat.ac.ke/

Robotics: Robotics Dojo

Robotics Dojo is an intensive training program at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) that aims to help students to develop advanced knowledge and skills in robotics. The program started in May 2022 under the support of the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, with about 40 students, including the bachelor and postgraduate students in JKUAT and Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI). At the end of the training program, a robotic competition is planned to showcase the achievement of the students. The training is conducted by the trainers from different departments in JKUAT, such as Dr. D. Kaburu (SCIT), Dr. J. Njiri (Mechatronic engineering), Mr. O. Omae (TIE), Mr. J. Oloo (EEE), Mr. J. Kimotho (SCIT), and Dr. L. Nderu (SCIT). The training contents are robot design and fabrication, embedded Linux, robotic manipulator, drone, control theory, and 3D printing.

Before the robotic competition in November, a short-term training was held in October, by inviting two professors from Nagasaki University: Prof. Kiyasu and Prof. Sakaguchi. They have been supporting the robotic competition, which used to be organized by the ministry of education in Kenya. After the training by the professors from Nagasaki university, the mini robotic competition was held, and the students were able to demonstrate their progress.

The first robotic competition was held on 16th November 2022 with the presence of DVC RPE of JKUAT, where 12 student teams will participate. In The competition, each group demonstrated their robot that solved several tasks, such as line following, stop and go, obstacle avoidance, and solving the maze.

[Find more details] https://roboticsdojo.github.io/

Rocket: Nakuja Project

The Nakuja project is a rocket development project organized by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) students and the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI). The project is supervised by Dr. S. Aoki (AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project), Dr. B. Owiti (Mechanical engineering), Dr. A. Muchiri (Mechatronic engineering), and Mr. Njeru Manegene (Electrical and electronic engineering), Dr. P. Muiriru (Mechanical Engineering).

The project began in June 2019 with the initial goal of designing a rocket using a liquid propellant engine, whereas the current project focuses on developing a solid-propellant rocket. In 2021, the project successfully launched its first rocket called N-1, which reached an apogee of 32m. In 2022, the team worked on launching its second product, the N-2 rocket, which is designed to reach an apogee of 500 m. As of 2023, the N-3 rocket and liquid rocket engine are under the development. The project’s final goal is to establish the capacity to develop the Kenyan-made liquid propellant rocket that can bring nanosatellites into low earth orbit.

The project partners with the Kenya Space Agency (KSA) and collaborate to spearhead aerospace engineering research in Kenya. With KSA, the team visited the Broglio Space Centre in Malindi, exhibited the rocket at the Kenya Space Expo and Conference 2022, and launched the N-2 rocket.

[Find more details] https://nakujaproject.com/

Electric Vehicle: Jibebe

Jibebe is a project to develop locally-made electric vehicles at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The students from JKUAT and Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) are working together to achieve the goal. The project is supervised by Dr. S. Aoki (AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project), Mr. J. Kimani (Mechanical engineering), Mr. K. Rono (Engineering workshop), Mr. S. Chege, Mr. J. Oloo (Electrical and electronic engineering), and Dr. S. Ondimu (Agricultural engineering).

The project began in January 2022 intending to develop two electric vehicle models. The first model is the electric tricycle, which aims to assist the transport of the physically challenged. The second one is the electrified Shujaa tractor, a small-scale tractor developed in JKUAT. The mission of the team is to spearhead the engineering research related to electric vehicles in Kenya. The team also aims to commercialize the products to showcase the successful business incubation from the university research. Toward the commercialization of innovation, the project partners with industrial stakeholders, such as the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) to commercialize the e-tricycle.

[Find more details] https://jibebe-jkuat.github.io/