Teacher’s big strike against insecurity
Sunday Nation 8th January 2010
When he decided to develop a security system for alerting him each time callers approached the entrance to his house, Robert Gitahi Mburu was responding to a security crisis.
It was in 2009 and burglars had just broken into his house in Free Hold Estate in Nakuru town and made off with his television set and a stereo system.
Since the robbery occurred when he was fast asleep with his family, Mr Mburu, who is familiar with electronic devices, decided to devise his own security system that would notify him whenever someone approached his gate.
His new invention, which he calls a Security Master, took him almost a year to develop. The gadget has won him awards and international recognition and is also a source of income.
At first, the high school teacher used his basic knowledge of electronics to develop a simple security system. He recycled electronic components he retrieved from old mother boards.
“I struggled to develop a touch switch which I later attached to the gate and connected to a beeper circuit so I would get a beep every time someone touched the gate,” he explains. He further advanced it into a security master.
A statement posted on the website of ICT Innovations Award Kenya describes the system: “The system is linked to a camera that takes over all electrical gadgets in the house, including your TV set, and records intrusion at instances. It comes with an eight-hour power back-up.
The alert system is connected to the GSM, texts the owner and, if an SMS remains unread, the system calls the owner of the premises and, if not available, calls two other sets of numbers.
The system can also take commands and execute them when texted; e.g. “switch on lights”.
Already, residents of Nakuru are engaging him to instal the security master at their premises at a fee. And they speak highly of it.
Patrick Mwangi, a businessman, describes it as the most effective security system for keeping intruders away. He also uses it to supervise staff at his Menengai Grain Millers.
“This system is so elaborate. It informs us any time an intruder enters into our compound, even at night when we are away, by sending a security alert in the form of a message and a call through to our mobile phone,” Mr Mwangi said.
The unit, Mr Mburu says, is linked to a homemade optical, motion and laser sensor, which detects any movement within 15 metres from their positions.
And a touch switch is attached to the gate or the main entrance. It also informs the owner of the exact location of the intruder.