Nigerian students invent hand-held traffic light to ease congestion

Nigerian students invent hand-held traffic light to ease congestion

- Some secondary school students have developed hand-held traffic light

- The new invention will help the country ease traffic movement

- The device is a collection of ideas and contribution from 33 school children aged 15 - 17

Some Nigerian students have invented hand-held traffic light that could help the country ease congestion across Nigeria's major cities.

The students of Caro Favoured School, Awodi-Ora, Lagos are set to join other school children in a Junior Achievement Nigeria’s National Company of the Year Competition, slated for June.

Ranging from ages 15 to 17, the students' invention was made under the their independently set-up company, Inventive Explorers which comprises of 33 students all in Senior Secondary School 2.

It was gathered that the students, 33 of them, Chibuike Jacob, Osinachi Daniel, Somto Nwachukwu, Emmanuel Anyanwu, Blessing Omosebi, Uchechukwu Obi, Uchechukwu Fredricks, Chizaram Igwe, to mention a few - shared their experience at being inventors and balancing work, school, family and play, with being innovative entrepreneurs.

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Vanguard reports that the students were able to carry out the invention under the supervision of their coordinator, Ebuka Ughamadu, who is also the managing director of the school.

Ughamadu said the idea for the hand-held device is a collective contribution from all the students involved.

He said: "Jacob birthed the idea of the hand-held traffic light and they all chipped in one thing or the other. Blessing brought the idea that the device should be rechargeable, Somto improved on the conventional red and green light and suggested they spell out STOP in red and GO in green."

Uchechukwu Obi chipped in that the prototype hand-held was too bulky for the average hand, so they worked on that, while Osinachi insisted on high quality LED bulbs for optimum visibility at night. This enables the traffic signals to be visible as far as 20 meters during the day and 50 meters at night. For durability and avoiding adverse reflection during night use, as well as moisture, Emmanuel recommended the use of Acrylic glass, a transparent termoplastic," Ughamadu added.

The device, Ughamadu said can be turned on by simply flicking the switch either ways or off with a light push using the thumb.

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"As it is, improvements are constantly being made. Initially, with the prototype, the battery lasted just 90 minutes when charged, now it has been improved to charge for 90 minutes and last three hours with continued usage.

"We also did a test run at Boundary Road, in Ajegunle, with the traffic wardens. They liked the device, particularly its portability and its zero likelihood of malfunctioning, however, they suggested we make the signs visible both ways so the user does not have to keep turning around for motorists to see the signs. This enhancement they will also effect.

"Getting high quality LED bulbs was really tough. Fortunately we found them and have established a relationship with a supplier who delivers whenever we need them. Time was also a challenge as we could only work after exams," he said.

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Chizaram then disclosed: “Capital was a challenge because as students we do not have money. We resulted to making home-made scouring powder from egg shells, detergent and ashes we got from street food vendors. We sold the scouring powder to our neighbours at home to generate capital. We also organised film shows after exams for our school mates for a token fee.” earlier reported that the Dangote Foundation donated a well-equipped secondary school in Lagos valued at N120 million.

The donation, gathered is part of the foundation's interventionist programme to boost education. The foundation also offered annual free tuition to 250 indigent pupils.

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