Mashisho - Upcycling Scrap Metal and Electronics at Gearbox

Introduction: Mashisho - Upcycling Scrap Metal and Electronics at Gearbox

About: Kenya’s first open makerspace for design and rapid prototyping.

The Gearbox team and makers wanted to give a local feel to the Creative Reuse event and for this reason by not only working with  we will be working with e-waste and what would otherwise be trash to create amazing projects,. To do this, we were lucky to have Cyrus Kabiru  join us for the event. Cyrus is a visual artist based in Nairobi. Cyrus is a TED fellow who creates innovative and creative stunners, known as C-Stunners, using scrap metal and up-cycled materials that he finds. 

Our gadget for the event where ultrasonic range sensors, LilyPad kits, arduino, buzzers and wires scrapped from old projects. One team worked on developping funky stunners for visually impaired persons. How did they work? Well, they had a range sensor placed at the bridge of one of the C-Stunners to detect promixity to an obstacle. This ultrasonic sensor worked together with  a piezoceramic crystal placed at the temple tips that would buzz whenever and object was too close to the person and alter them on this. This team, dubbed 'Mashisho' - Swahili for Sunglasses- had a lot of fun with this and are excited to roll this off as a consumer product authentic to the Kenyan market. 

The second team work along the same theme of creative cool stunners for that were interactive for the wearer. These stunners also used an ultasonic range sensor placed at the bridge. What was different though was that depending on the range of the object from the sensor, different pitches of sound would be produced by the buzzer together with mutli-coloured lights from LEDs - something like a walking disco ball. Picture wearing these on a night out!

The third team upcycled tees from the Lumi build night together with some BRCK tees, onto which they attached LEDs and sensors together with the fun electronics in the Lilypad development kit. 

We thought it would be exciting merging Cyrus’ visual artist background with the electronics and hardware community that we have so as to create interactive and wearable electronics – a first of its kind in Kenya. Both the electronics makers and artists had a great time in this creatives mash up event. Looking forward to the next one!

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