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Campus Vibe
MMU lab techs create automated sliding gate
By Fredrick Oginga | Updated Jun 22, 2017 at 08:39 EAT
Five MMU technicians made automated gate
Five laboratory technologists at Multimedia University have come up with an automated sliding gate. The group led by Dr Christopher Adika, working under the department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, were spurred to action after noting an increase in theft cases within residential or work areas.

Dr Adika, David Rotich, Geoffrey Musyoki, Joel Mokola, Titus Mutunguti, all experts in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and micro controllers programming and installation, have been working for two years now on the project that is now in its marketing stage.Musyoki in an interview told Hashtag that the state of the art modern gate uses a controller to close, stop or open.

"The controller, a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is loaded with a programme that runs the gate. The programme can work in all types of gates i.e. mule gate, swing gate or the garage door", Mr Musyoki explains.

The innovators explained that their technology utilises various mechanisms to operate including remote control, biometric access control and a GSM module.

"For biometrics, one can use RFID cards, finger print or key in a specific password to open the gate. Those driving will only need to swipe their cards while inside their cars since the biometric access control is positioned at a strategic position accessible to all", Mr. Musyoki explains."The system helps the tenant or owner of the premises to limit and monitor entry of people accessing his or her premises thus reducing theft cases", he adds.

For safety purposes, the team says, a photocell sensor switch is used to stop the sliding effect of the gate if anyone is passing.

In GSM module, a registered Sim card is used in controlling the activities of the gate. According to Musyoki, the sim card registered in GSM module becomes the number to call when one wants to open the gate.

"You can call or text the registered sim card to operate the gate. No charges apply for calling but one needs airtime to make the call go through. To text, normal SMS charges apply. The owner of the gate is the only person who has the rights to register any other party who wants to operate it using GSM. He or she is also able to control the gate from any geographical location", Musyoki explains.

As opposed to the GSM module, remote control mechanism only allows one to open, stop or close the gate within a maximum distance of 25 meters in the absence of barriers like buildings.

According to the team, the gate also comes with a CCTV camera whose surveillance is triggered by a motion sensor positioned at a strategic position at entry point.

Individuals or institutions can access the product which is readily available. The team allows interested parties to either buy the whole package which includes the gate customised to one's liking together with the controller or buy the technology and pay for installation service if one already owns a gate

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