DSAIL Blogs

Collins Emasi

Into Kieni Forest; a Data Collection Exercise

Our aim was to collect stereoscopic images of randomly sampled trees which we would use to build a system that employs scientific methods to estimate the biomass of a tree and consequently approximate the biomass of the whole forest.

April 12, 2023

Yuri Njathi

Technology for Wildlife Conservation: DSAIL technology presentation at Women in Conservation Technology workshop 2022 

The DSAIL team presented the DSAIL-Porini dataset, the cutting-edge software and hardware used to collect images, and the preliminary software used to automate the data annotation process to the Women in Conservation Technology Program audience at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Professor Ciira talked about Data Science Africa (DSA). Fran Baker and Rosalie Tribe, social impact managers at Arm, spoke on the importance of sustainability in technology. Stephanie O’Donnell, WILDLABS Executive Manager, spoke on networking at WILDLABS.net

February 21, 2023

Lorna Mugambi

DSAIL Research Day 2022

The DSAIL Research Day is when research interns and undergraduate research assistants at the Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAIL) gather to share with each other and guests what they are working on. We do this every year to catch each other up on what we have been working on with the hope of getting feedback from the audience. This year, we held our second research day on 21st October 2022 at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Wildlife Conservancy. Compared to the first research day (held on 19th June 2021), we had a few more sessions this year seeing as the team had grown and everyone had made tremendous progress on their projects. This year, we invited an alumnus of DSAIL and an IoT solutions Engineer at Networks for Learning Africa, Jared Makario as our guest speaker.

January 31, 2023

Gabriel Kiarie

Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR)

TDR is a method of fault detection and localisation in electric cables. TDR involves sending a fast-rising pulse down a cable and sampling it at the input. The sampled signal is then analysed to look for reflected signals. From the sampled signal, we can detect the presence of a fault and determine the type of the fault and its point of occurrence. TDR is based on the principle that impedance discontinuities in cables result in reflection of an incident signal.

December 15, 2022

Gabriel Kiarie

A Raspberry Pi Based Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR)

A Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR) is a device that is used to locate faults in electric cables. It is based on the principle of reflection of electric signals by faults. A TDR sends a fast rising rectangular pulse down a cable, samples it at the input and processes the sampled signal to determine presence of a fault in the cable. A TDR is also able to determine the type of the fault and its point of occurrence. These TDRs are, however, expensive (ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars). At the Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAIL), we have developed a low-cost Raspberry Pi based TDR.

December 15, 2022

Gabriel Kiarie

Reflection of Electric Signals in Conductors

This blog combines some of these concepts to explain reflection of electric signals. An electric signal travelling down an electric cable gets reflected wholly or partially when it encounters impedance discontinuities in the cable. To explain how impedance discontinuities, cause reflection of an incident signal, let's state some laws and theorems.

December 10, 2022

Gabriel Kiarie

DSAIL Bioacoustics System

The DSAIL Bioacoustics System is a Raspberry Pi based acoustic sensor that was developed at DSAIL. The system was developed with the aim to collect acoustic data of birds and also perform automatic classification of birds from their vocalizations.
Currently, we have been able to successfully deploy the system at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Conservancy for data collection.
We are looking forward to coming back to narrate the story of how we have successfully classified various birds at our conservancy.

June 28, 2021 

Antony M. Gitau

NeeFlex: A wearable device for measuring knee flexion angles in rehabilitating patients.

In this project, we develop a knee wearable device for accurately measuring, recording, and displaying a patient’s knee flexion angles during flexion and extension. This device aims to solve the challenges orthopedics surgeons and physiotherapists experience while usin mechanical goniometers which are highly inaccurate, very invasive, and difficult to use. We used an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense microcontroller board to record knee flexion angle measured by a flex sensor.

May 15, 2022

Gabriel Kiarie

DSAIL Power Management Board: Powering the Raspberry Pi Autonomously Off-the-Grid

When designing a Raspberry Pi system to deploy in the field, the problem of powering the system needs to be handled carefully. Like in normal computers, there is constant reading and writing on to the storage of the Raspberry Pi. This means that care needs to be taken when shutting down the Raspberry Pi. Abrupt disconnection from power may result in corruption and hence loss of data in its storage.

January 31, 2021 

Gabriel Kiarie

Deploying 'Ears' in Ecosystems : Bioacoustics monitoring

Bioacoustics monitoring of ecosystems provides a potential remedy to the hurdles faced when using surveys to monitor ecosystems. Most animals, like human beings, use sound as one of their means of communication. It is possible to identify bird species by the sound they produce. This means we can monitor birds by listening to the sound they make.

January 31, 2021 

Jason Kabi

GCP-InfluxDB

The following are brief steps on how to setup / launch an InfluxDB Virtual Machine on GCP (Google Cloud Platform), install python 3.7 on it and run a python script that queries the data from an IOT Network server like TTN (The Things Network).

November 23, 2020

Jason Kabi

Etch (Project Ewaso Hardware Development)

Etching is a subtractive method used for the production of etched circuit boards: acid is used to remove unwanted copper from a prefabricated laminate. This is done by applying a temporary mask that protects parts of the laminate from the acid and leaves the desired copper layer untouched. 

November 14, 2020

Jason Kabi

Project Ewaso (project overview)

The Upper Ewaso Nyiro (Ngare Ngiro) is one of the major rives in Kenya. For a millennium, it has been a lifeline for farmers and pastoralist in Kenya. All along its path, unfair distribution of water has fundamentally been the cause of conflict between and amongst the water-user communities over the years.

November 9,  2020