Fighting Corona With an Internet Robot

DeKUT is on the forefront in fighting covid-19: we’ve developed an alcohol free sanitizer, we’ve partnered with Laikipia county government to provide them with Personal Protective Equipment(PPEs) and we’re in the process of developing a proprietary ventilator that could be mass produced upon certification. Our students have not been left behind in these efforts.

Brian Ndegwa Wambui, a 2nd year IT student, has been featured on The Star and Ebru TV after he developed Rona.

Ebru TV’s clip on Rona

Rona is an internet robot that will answer any questions you have about the corona virus. It only gives answers from credible sources – including WHO approved websites. Upon asking a question, Rona will either give you a direct answer or provide you with a list of links to credible sources that could help answer your question.

Ndegwa says that he developed Rona because there is a lot of misinformation about covid-19, which could prove harmful and undermine the country’s efforts to fight the virus.

Meet Ndegwa, this week’s Panther

Aside from Rona – the artificially intelligent agent that answers questions, Ndegwa has also developed Rona Analytics. Rona Analytics is a visualization tool that shows the corona pandemic situation in each county via graphs. It was developed to help the country limit the damage caused by the Corona pandemic by flattening the curve. A flattened curve means that the same number of people ultimately get infected with the virus but the infections will be spread over a longer period. This will reduce the stress on our health care system and help more corona virus victims survive. To learn more about how Rona Analytics could help flatten the curve, visit their website at analytics.rona.co.ke

a screen grab from the rona analytics page. visit it at analytics.rona.co.ke

Rona.co.ke has been visited by 1900 unique users this week and has answered over 7000 questions with an accuracy of 96%. However, Ndegwa says that his aim is to reach every single Kenyan and ensure that there is no misinformation about covid-19 going round. He is working under the mentorship of DeHUB, DeKUT’s incubation center. Hopefully, Rona will partner with the Ministry of Health to help curb the spread of false information and flatten the curve of the corona pandemic in Kenya.

Furthermore, when asked about plans to monetize, Ndegwa said that the site was purely aimed at helping Kenyans survive the pandemic by providing them with accurate information. He pointed out that he could not bring himself to make money from fellow Kenyans undergoing a crisis as it would be selfish. Accordingly, the site has no advertisements, which is strange for a modern day website.

Ndegwa’s selflessness and dedication to helping fellow Kenyans at such a time makes him a hero.

Every Tuesday, we celebrate a remarkable Kimathian

Our Panther of the Week is an IBM Student Ambassador and runs the IBM innovation club at DeKUT that teaches AI and Cyber Security skills. Such skills, says Ndegwa, could prove essential in the coming years especially with the impact of covid-19 on the global economy. He also co-founded iHome Ke, a system that first year students in 2019 used in their search for hostels. The iHome platform uses a map interface to help students locate hostels and was featured in the 2018 ASK show.

Interestingly, Ndegwa also works at Ibiza. Mostly, he is involved in getting information about artists on demand and getting them to perform at the club. He also works as a security guard sometimes, and may have been responsible for kicking out one or two comrades – which he terms unfortunate. However, as he is quick to point out, he has also saved many comrades from difficult situations at the club.

He has achieved a lot, considering that he is only a second year student. Ndegwa attributes this to the fact that he was exposed to technology early and has always worked towards self improvement. One would not expect to hear that he had been expelled from high school, but he actually was. When asked to shed more light on the matter, Ndegwa respectfully declines, saying that we should let it be a story for another day. Anyway, such a background confirms that there is hope for some of us who have not been our best in the past.

DekuTrends wishes Ndegwa success in his ventures. May he keep flying the Dedan Kimathi flag high.

Feel free to leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

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Silicon

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