Nairobi Solar Machine
maker faire winch

The Nairobi Solar Machine was created as a part of DIY Kenya, an initiative by bloc that was presented in the Maker Faire Africa in Nairobi in August 2010, an event gathering inventors and technologists from Africa.

I worked for 5 days with a group of engineering students at the Fablab in the University of Nairobi making a prototype model for a solar-powered automated well winch.

I had brought a suitcase of components and a solar panel without preconception about what we would build. At the first meeting we discussed what the solar machine should be.

After a consultation we decided to make an automated winch well with water level detection, that could be used in remote areas. With a limited budget and even more limited time we built a scaled down operational model.

The prototype was installed under one of the tents of the Faire, where it underwent constant upgrading throughout the three days of the event and was well received by the audience.

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Entrance to the University of Nairobi
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Maker Faire tents on campus
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Engineering students testing solar panel mobile platform
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Students programming solar panel platform Arduino
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Student Desmond and Winch in progress