Students of the Regina Pacis Secondary School in Nigeria recently made waves for creating Smart Walking Sticks For The Blind. Demonstrating remarkable innovative skills in robotics and coding, the girls invented Smart Sticks that can detect obstacles not less than 120 centimeters away from a blind person, Channels TV reported.
To test the effectiveness of the product, some visually impaired persons reviewed the Smart Sticks at a special event.
According to Pulse Nigeria, the Youth Coordinator of the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), Anambra State, Chibuzor Obierika, who spoke at the launch of the innovative product, shared that the invention was improved after its first test.
“After building this project, we noticed it could only sense obstacles horizontally in front of the blind man, so we decided to advance this project. The Smart Sticks can now sense objects from an angle of elevation and an angle of depression,” she said.
The Smart Sticks are designed with an ultrasonic sensor that alerts a blind person of an obstacle not less than 120 centimeters ahead. This latest innovation from the all-female school aligns with the Anambra state government’s mandate to support innovations among young talent.
The exhibition of the Smart Sticks happened during the pastoral visit of the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Most Reverend Valerian Okeke.
While unveiling the invention and distributing over 20 packs of the devices to several impaired persons, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, and His Royal Highness, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe – the Obi of Onitsha (the traditional king of the Ancient City of Onitsha), hailed the students for the feat achieved.
“I feel very much elated. In today’s society, visually impaired people have gone past the era of being perceived as being incapable of contributing to societal development,” a member of the blind community said.
Guests at the event applauded the students and the school for the unprecedented achievement and expressed delight that the Smart Sticks would go a long way in helping the visually impaired live a life of independence.
In 2018, students from the school won the Junior Gold Awards in the World Technovation Challenge in the US for developing a mobile application called the Fake Drug (FD) detector to help tackle fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.