Bouncy Baleka – UCT’s kickstart solution to robotic propulsion

Meet Baleka – she can’t speak like her namesake in Parliament, but she sure can jump. Baleka – from the Xhosa word for “running” – is a biped (two-legged robot) designed by a team of UCT engineering students to solve the motion problem of acceleration. Dr Amir Patel, team leader and senior lecturer in Mechatronics,…

SA wins big in AppsAfrica awards

South Africa featured prominently in the fourth AppsAfrica Innovation Awards, held in Cape Town on 10 November 2018. Hosts and founders of the annual awards programme, tech advisory service AppsAfrica.com, said the 2018 edition attracted over 300 entries from more than 39 countries across the continent. Winners were crowned across 14 categories and invited to…

What wonders of innovation will 2019 hold?

As we stand at the beginning of another year, it’s awe-inspiring to think that 2019 holds the promise of more innovation than any year before it – that is if the pace of innovation keeps accelerating, as it has been for decades. But what will those innovations be? It’s tempting for the loud and immersive…

Tellumat brings affordable Internet access to Delft

Cape Town’s Delft township received an energising boost when Tellumat bought an existing non-functional Wi-Fi network and built a town-wide Wi-Fi network, connecting residents to vital economic and community services. Market need Delft, established in 1989, is an especially disadvantaged township near the Cape Town International Airport and Site C, Khayelitsha. It is known for…

African innovation takes to the skies

Commonly known as drones (to the layperson), unmanned aerial systems (UASs) have use cases as boundless as our imagination, across practically all industries. But while they’re all the rage now, Africa has been at the forefront of UAS innovation for 30 years. Let’s take a flip down memory (air)lane and over 30 years of African…

Innovation is alive and well in SA

On 13-14 September 2018, 10 years after the first South African Innovation Summit (SAIS), the event again showcased some of the country’s most exciting new innovations, drawing vital commercial investment and political support with their potential to help kickstart growth in our recovering economy. Leading fixture The SAIS, a collaboration between industry, government and academia,…

Sustainability – innovation’s new frontier

As we look back on the tremendous pace and variety of innovation over the past 20 years, two main driving forces stand out: In the 1990s, new technology tended to drive business innovation, while today, sustainability oftentimes does a good part of the driving. To unpack this statement, we recognise two types of sustainability through…

Snoopy action at a distance – quantum theory can help spot stealth planes

Researchers at the University of Waterloo are using the quantum principle of entanglement – memorably called “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein – to develop a quantum radar that can expose stealth aircraft and missiles. Unjammable radar Traditional radar is vulnerable to interference from space weather events such as geomagnetic storms and solar…

Local airfields choose Tellumat for fully-compliant ground lighting with sophisticated monitoring and control

Market need Many small and mid-sized airports in southern Africa face a difficult migration from ageing airfield ground lighting (AGL) systems. Typically based on dated analogue technologies, such systems rely on manual controls across airports to switch lights on and off and offer no feedback facility, forcing airport personnel to physically check lights in all…