Students from University of Livingstonia (Unilia) have devised a sensory walking stick that will help people with impaired vision to detect any objects in their way when they are walking.
The new innovation which is called Smart Stick was revealed Friday in Mzuzu during Unilia’s Computer Engineering, Public Health, and Food Security and Nutrition Symposium.
Among others, the stick has been devised with the ability to detect moisture, distance and light feelings for the people which will help them to walk without any difficulties.
In an interview with Mana, a fourth year Computer Engineering student Tikhala Mwale, who made a presentation of the Smart Stick at the symposium, said the innovation marks the beginning of a new chapter for people who have sight challenges.
“This is a breakthrough for people with blindness challenges. They will no longer struggle to walk on their own as the stick guides them wherever they go. We have devised this stick in such a way that it uses three feelings of moisture, distance and light which enables them to automatically receive audio directions whenever they are walking even during the night,” he said.
Mwale said among others, the stick uses locally available cell batteries which make it even affordable to people who live in remote areas where there is no electricity.
He explained that the new innovation would help students with impaired vision in their education pursuit as they would be encouraged to go to school on their own without the help of others.
Director of Health Technical Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Benson Chilima expressed delight and praise for the students’ innovation.
“This clearly demonstrates that as students who will be graduating in a days’ time, you are ready to help the country offer solutions to a number of challenges that the country is facing.
“The industry out there needs graduates who are valuable and ready to give solutions that they have learnt from the four years they have been studying,” he said.