By Peace Obi
A three-member team from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State has won the inaugural hardware design competition tagged ‘Lagos Labs 2016’, organised by the Design Institute in Lagos, recently.
The winning team, comprising Messers Odunlade Emmanuel, Balogun Tobiloba and Eyetemi Egbejule, which presented its project under the aegis of iGas, developed a monitoring system that gauges cooking gas usage and sends the information on the quantity left to the user’s phone.
According to a statement signed by Lotte Elsa Goos, the students who were visibly overjoyed when they received the N1 million Access Bank Innovation Prize for their outstanding performance said the reward would strengthen their commitment and determination to develop more innovative inventions.
Participants in the final pitch competition, which attracted students and young professionals from Lagos, Plateau, Osun, and Ondo States, showcased a wide range of new opportunities that the internet can bring to Nigeria, including smart solutions transportation, agriculture, power, safety and health.
While the first runner-up team developed a device that sends alarm to one’s family when one is in danger, the second runner-up team built a monitoring system for soil to yield more crops. As part of the organiser’s commitment to impart hardware skills and encourage potential innovative inventors, the best three teams received mentorship award.
The competition was preceded by a three-day workshop where international coaches from Welldone.org, Stanford, MIT, BCG who specialise in building technology and innovative tools along with the team from The Design Institute Lagos, trained participants on hardware skills such as building sensors and using a 3D printer.
The statement said the participants’ learning outcome was assessed by their application of the skills to build solutions for infrastructural issues in Nigeria.
Commending the participants’ enthusiasm, commitment, brilliance and willingness to learn, one of the coaches, Sean Jeffries, said “these are some of the fastest learners we have ever taught hardware.”
In her remarks, Goos hinted that what started as a small idea grew into something bigger just in a few months. “We are excited to work towards the continued success and growth of the Lagos Labs. It is a fantastic way to catalyze innovation in Nigeria.”
She also thanked the individuals and corporate organisations who partnered the institute to make the competition a success.
The Lagos Design Institute is a product, experience and innovation design firm that teaches people how to establish and nurture creativity and innovation in their lives and organisations. It was co-founded by Toks Fagbamigbe and Lotte Elsa Goos.