JKUAT duo declared winners of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup championships

The duo, also known as The Knights had created an automated robot using artificial intelligence to identify and remove weeds from rows of crops.

May 22, 2020, 12:01 AM for gotta.news
Michael Mwaisakenyi and Kenneth Gichira

Two Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology students, Michael Mwaisakenyi and Kenneth Gichira have been named the regional winners of the 18th annual Imagine Cup Competition, winning 8000 USD (KSh 854,800) each.

They were also awarded other prizes among them Azure credits and a spot in the Imagine Cup World Championship event.

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The duo, also known as The Knights had created an automated robot using artificial intelligence to identify and remove weeds from rows of crops.

The innovators used cameras as sensors which helps in gathering input from the environment helping farmers to choose pesticides which are less harmful to the environment in their wedding.

The robot has also employed a four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering giving it the flexibility to employ different and suitable steering strategies with much ease

"There is an opportunity to eradicate weeds mechanically without the use of herbicide while still increasing crop yield and reducing pollution... We are passionate about solving the issues of food production through technology because food is essential to life,"Mwaisakenyi explained during an interview with a local daily back in March.

The competition which had six teams advanced through hackathons, online semi-finals, and virtual regional final events, bringing together finalists via Microsoft Teams.

The six teams included a team of bright young minds from Kenya who were selected to present their projects at the World Championship and compete for the 2020 trophy on the Microsoft Build digital event.

"Imagine Cup has always aimed to empower students to use their imagination and passion for technology to develop innovative and inclusive solutions that tackle key societal issues. With an increasing focus on bringing the world together digitally, we’re continuously encouraged by the projects young developers create to make a difference," Kendi Nderitu, Country Manager for Microsoft in Kenya said.

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Adding:

"We are also extremely proud of The Knights, who by making it to the championship event, have reaffirmed Kenya and Africa’s immense potential to create solutions that directly address socio-economic needs within industries such as the agricultural sector."

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