Imagine driving from Lagos to Maiduguri, a distance of about 22 hours without fuel in your car. Well, just before you say this can only happen in the dream, consider a recent technological breakthrough achieved by Covenant University, CU, Ota, Ogun State.
With the aid of rechargeable batteries, the car designed by researchers at CU can go all the way from Lagos to Maiduguri without having need for a recharge. Solely powered by a battery that is designed to last for 48 hours the car is built with high voltage and anti-shock device and runs with a speed limit of 120 kilometres per hour!
Mesmerised? Well, wait for this. Researchers at CU have also developed an E-election biometric system that ensures that there would be no missing names after voters registration exercise.
Welcome to another CU invention that takes care of the whole gamut of electioneering. From voters’ registration accreditation, voting and compilation of election results, the automated E-election biometric system designed by researchers from the university promises to bridge any electoral hiccups and bring credibility to the electoral process in Nigeria.
With a smart card that contains the bio-data, photographs and fingerprints, and could also be a means of national identification, researchers at CU believe that the card can be issued to every eligible Nigerian who will then update the information on their own annually. They argue that this will eliminate the wastage of human and monetary resources on voters registration exercise at every election year.
Perhaps, another unique feature of the biometric system is the packaging of the voting instruction proper. Charles Ayo, professor and director of academic planning, CU, says with this system, voters, no matter how advanced in age or their ethnic affiliations would be able to listen to voting instructions and vote unaided. “We don’t have to keep contracting the project out at every election year, only to give us a temporary voters’ card. The plan is to make the project a multi-lingual system, where the major Nigerian languages will be voice-displayed with pictures and political parties’ logos,’’ he said.
What about the other ethnic languages in Nigeria? Ayo does not think that the exclusion of the other ethnic languages will affect the viability of the device. “Besides English language, we have included the three major Nigerian languages to simplify the use. We have experimented with it and we feel that the three languages will go a long way in user participation. Besides the voters card, the biometric card also takes care of the national identity card and drivers’ licence,’’ he said.
Ayo who disclosed that work would be perfected on the device in a year, feels that would give enough time for it to be useful to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC during the next general elections in 2015. But, according to him, that will be after the necessary legal rights and awareness campaign.
The increasing need for personal and home security has also propelled CU to design an SMS-based home appliances control and security system that can be operated by the owner no matter the distance. On the system, there is a keypad where a seven-digit password is required to be imputed before access can be gained into any apartment where the device is installed. If the password is properly imputed, it displays on the liquid crystal display device, LCD, mounted at the entrance of the house while access will be granted and the door opened. But if it is an intruder and the password is wrongly imputed, an alarm goes off after the third attempt while the owner is also notified of the intrusion.
Oluwole Olowoleni, an engineer and staff of the university, adds that the property owner would be notified through SMS if an intruder jumps over the fence. Explaining further, Olowoleni said the security system can also help an occupant check the power status of electronic appliances not switched off at home. Through SMS, the owner switches off the appliance to prevent a fire outbreak. In the next two months, Olowoleni hopes that the university would be done with copyright issues to pave way for the commercialisation of these devices.
These inventions were subjects of exhibition during the recent 30th anniversary celebration of the Living Faith Church, also known as Winners’ Chapel, owners of CU. David Oyedepo, founder, Living Faith Church and chancellor of CU, said the university is committed to adding value to humanity and making the world a better place in all areas of life.