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Saturday, 25 May 2019

Students present new inventions at Cairo International Exhibition of Innovation

They included an off-road vehicle, a mobile phone charger powered by the user's own movement, and an unmanned catamaran

Ghada Abdel-Kader, Friday 23 Nov 2018
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Catamaran design and production at the Exhibition (Photo: Ghada Abdel Kader)
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The fifth edition of the Cairo International Exhibition of Innovation took place on 8 and 9 November.

The exhibition is an initiative of Egypt’s Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), which aimed at creating an annual innovation market where innovators, technology companies, and young people meet to share their innovative products or projects.

“The ASRT will give financial prizes at the end of the exhibition for the best innovations,” media counselor and official spokesman of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Cairo, Sherine Sabri, told Ahram Online.

“Also, it will sign contracts with innovators within one month after the end of the exhibition.”

“The innovations have to be new. It can be applied to any industry and economic profit,” she added

This year, the exhibition saw more than 5,000 visitors and 670 innovations and exhibits. There was a wide range of innovations in different fields.

Among them were two outstanding inventions which won first place as the best innovations in the student projects category at the end of the exhibition. 

The first was a four-wheel lightweight ground vehicle with one seat. Its engine is 305 CC, 10 horsepower and its speed level from 60 to 70km/h (kilometres per hour). It was designed and manufactured by 20 engineering students (third, fourth and fifth year) from the automobile engineering department at Military Technical College in Egypt.

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Four-wheel lightweight ground vehicle (Photo: Ghada Abdel Kader)

The students designed the vehicle to participate in international automotive design racing competition Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) in the USA in April 2019.

It is annual design competition for engineering students from universities all over the world to design and build a small off-road vehicle. During the competition each team's vehicle is judged on a series of static and dynamic events. The static events include cost and design presentations as well as vehicle inspection. 

This vehicle can be driven on different road conditions including desert, rough terrain, rocky terrain, muddy terrain, sandy terrain, forests and unpaved ground. It also can be used in towing. Its towing capacity was from 1-11/2 ton. Its price is EGP110,000.

All vehicle parts were Egyptian-made except the brake calipers, the engine and the shock absorber, which were imported.

The second invention was an electric vehicle called “Viride” (from the Latin word for green). It was also designed by students from the automobile engineering department at Military Technical College in Egypt.

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The Viride vehicle’s components were made in Egypt. It had won first prize in the innovation competition over nine other teams at the first Electric Vehicle Rally, held in Egypt’s new administrative capital last year.

The one-seater is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine, using a rechargeable battery installed inside the car that needs to be recharged periodically via any outlet using a long cable with adapter plug into a regular household socket. It needs only three hours to be fully charged. It had a driving range of 65 kilometres.

It also features a seat belt and a six-point harness, and two emergency (e-stop) buttons inside and outside the car that require just one touch to turn off the engine.

Afnan Osama, a 17-year-old inventor from Aswan governorate, was at the exhibition showing off his invention, a “shoe charger”. The device converts the heat generated by the human body when a person moves into electric energy. It is lightweight and small and can be placed in a trouser pocket.

It is used to charge a mobile phone battery, MP3 player or other simple electrical device.

“The shoe charger device is connected to mobile through Bluetooth,” Osama explained. “Then, the mobile begins to charge.”

The amount of time to charge a phone depends varying on the model of the phone, she said.

“It can generate 220 volts, to provide the entire home needs for electricity,” she added. “It is a great source of renewable energy.”

Her colleague Omar Zakariya has added a sensor to the shoe charger to aid old or visually impaired people. This motion of the sensor would send an alert through frequencies or vibration to his or her sole, to warn the wearer if they are facing any objects or solid body obstacles such as trees, bricks pavements, etc.

Four students from the ship and submarine engineering department at the Military Technical College, a department which was established only four years ago, made an unmanned catamaran with a unique design, which can move at high speeds and is more stable, and less likely to keel over. It reduces drag by making use of a very thin pointed hull design.

The catamaran has multiple uses, such as coastal monitoring and surveillance of suspicious objects.

It could also measure salinity and water pollution and secure marine fisheries and fish farms projects, by using sonar to map the sea floor.

It is also capable of detecting landmines and can travel long distances without human intervention.

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