Emmanuel Saati, a 21-year-old Sierra Leonean innovator, has developed smart glasses and sticks for visually impaired persons to detect 0bjects, to offer those people some sense of the external environment and objects. In addition, Emmanuel Saati has also created a Food Preservation Bag for crops to develop an alternative to the storage of farm produce.
The light at the end of the tunnel for Africa’s innovative space is simply gleaming. Emmanuel Kenroby Saati is an upcoming Tech-Entrepreneur and developer, who was born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Saati did his secondary education at the Prince of Wales Senior Secondary School.
As the youngest member of his family, he was more akin to solving problems, which has transformed into a passion. For starters, Emmanuel Saati will fix up his toys and gadgets, before taking a charismatic step to addressing real-life problems accumulated by people. The prodigy is also a great believer in teamwork and planning to solve problems and difficulties.
SMART GLASSES AND STICK PROJECT
The first insight into the spectacular innovation of Emmanuel Saati is the smart glasses and stick for visually impaired individuals. Emmanuel Saati’s elder sister is visually impaired. Her inability to properly take care of herself leaves Saati in a position to assist her. However, following a relocation away from his sister, he can no longer provide the necessary help she needs. This is the same scenario encountered by over 100,000 children leaving with blindness in Sierra Leone.
A high level of street begging amongst the blind is on the increase in Sierra Leone and most of the blind people use young children to lead them when they are going to beg. In addition, blind children and elderly people in Sierra Leone’s movement are mostly dependent on the assistance of family members or close friends. From the personal experience of my sister, I felt sorry for her and these people too. So I decided to offer my little help to them.
Emmanuel Saati expressed his inspiration behind the innovation in an interview with The African Dream.
The smart glasses and stick project (assistive technology) is developed to solve the daily problems that are related to information transmission (personal care) and navigation usually related to the constraints faced by blind people. The technology (smart glasses and stick) is divided into three categories: vision enhancement, vision substitution, and vision replacement. The device provides the blind with detection and localization of the objects, to offer those people a sense of the external environment using the functions of sensors.
The sensors enable the user with the mobility task based on the determination of dimensions, range, and height of the objects. The assistive technology provides fast processing for the exchanged information between a blind person and the sensors. For example, the system can detect the obstacle that is 4 meters in front of a blind person in 30sec.
FOOD PRESERVATION BAG
So farmers aren’t left out. Agriculture is one of the driving forces that can propel Africa to the title of the “World’s Food Basket.” The Food Preservation Bag was developed by Emmanuel Saati, with its objective to keep food in attractive conditions, slow down the ageing of crops, protect them from frost, combat shortages, and obtain higher prices.
The functions of the smart fruit and vegetable preservation system are magnanimous and cogent. The fruit and vegetable system is important for the storage of harvested and processed plant and vegetable food products for distribution to consumers. It also contributes to a better balanced diet for individuals throughout the year.
However, the fundamental aim of this storage facility is to delay the ageing of crops. The device is made up of systems and sensors that can detect the average of each fruit, and provide the required room temperature needed for the preservation of the fruits and vegetables. With a basic design principle carved out by Emmanuel Saati, the system can take up to 1 ton of fruit and vegetables per bag but is not limited to a bag only.
Like many other upcoming innovators, Emmanuel Saati is most times challenged with access to materials or resources to carry out his work. Furthermore, he cites the lack of collaborative efforts by other innovators as a problem. “Innovators in Sierra Leone lack collaboration which is something I find really annoying; because no man is an island and two smarter heads are better than one”, Emmanuel Saati asserted.
He was optimistic and hopeful when asked to send out a message to other young innovators like him. The techwiz told the African Dream: “You can imagine how long a train is. That is how patient you should be as an innovator and entrepreneur. You’ll have to fail, lose, and be disappointed. But the most important thing is whether you think you can, or you think you can’t. Believe that you can succeed with your God-given talents and ideas and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.”
In 2021, Emmanuel Saati was awarded by UNDP in the social good summit as the best innovator for the Assistive Technology category challenge. He also acquired a certificate in leadership from YALE University, United States of America.
My plans for the future are to see my country manufacturing everything we consume and for that to happen, we need the industrial machines and equipment to do that. I want to start making autonomous industrial robots, industrial machines, and systems if I have the support.
Emmanuel Saati speaks on how he plans to tackle his country’s most pressing issues with innovation and technology.