A Smart Home and Business Automation System

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Khotso Moahloli
Khotso Moahloli

The first smart home and business automation system ever invented and commercialized in Lesotho is ready to hit the markets. Yes you can buy it NOW!

That is thanks to the efforts of Mr Khotso Moahloli. He started developing this product as a fifth year Electronics Engineering student in 2013 at the National University of Lesotho (NUL).

Have you ever wished you could put on and off your lights at home while you are far away from your house, using your mere cellphone? How about putting on your geyser while you are still at work, just so that you can find the water ready for taking a warm bath when you hit home?

Or, could it be that you are one of those people who wish they could put their home heaters on, while they are still far away so that when they reach home, the rooms are already warm? Are you, perhaps, one of those souls, who would like a system in which, when an intruder gets into your house or business, it notifies you immediately with an sms or even call on your cellphone?

It is possible—that you are one of those people! However, what has been preventing you from doing just that? The smart home and business automation system simply wasn’t there! Now, it is here—for you! Even better, it was invented right here in Lesotho. Thanks to the innovative spirit that has recently swamped the National University of Lesotho (NUL)!

As one of those nifty characters to have graced the boundaries of NUL, Mr Khotso Moahloli noticed the glaring local market opening. He became as swift as an arrow to take advantage! “We realized that people complained about electricity usage due to geysers since some put them on all day, just to find water warm in the evening,” enthusiastic Mr Moahloli related.

“The same thing could be said about other home appliance systems such as heaters and lights. For instance, if they are going to arrive home very late. Some people leave their lights on; all day, as a disguise to confuse the onlookers into assuming people were still in the house.”

Those ideas worked, but not before they siphoned and wasted as much electricity as possible, along with hard-earned money. With Mr Moahloli’s invention, such things will be a thing of the past! You can enjoy yourself in as remote a corner of the earth as Hawaii or as exotic a place as the French Alps and be able to put on and off your lights back home as if you were still right there!

Even more inspiring is the journey that the young inventor has travelled to this end! It all started in the NUL—as it is, no doubt, becoming a norm in our time! First, the young sharp mind wanted to develop a home system which users could communicate with using mobile phone to remotely control home lighting system.

“While I was able to achieve and demonstrate this as a student. I went on to pursue this feat even after graduation,” Moahloli said. “In fact I designed the system to include controlling a geyser, heaters and security functions so that one just presses an ON/OFF button on one’s phone. The system does not replace the manual switching as they are integrated to work together. All these system components can be purchased separately or as a consolidated system, it is the buyer’s choice.”

As with all good things, designing and making this system was no picnic! Intensive thinking was a prerequisite. In the end, it was two years in the making!

He first started by designing an electronic PCB board. This was designed to accommodate all the components of the smart home and business automation system. He used a computer aided design, CAD, to develop the board. The board was then integrated into a programmed micro-controller. “If the board is a skeleton with all the veins and arteries, then micro-controller is your brain,” he revealed. “It controls all the necessary functions of a system.”

This design was then printed. The result was a fully functional board that was then packaged nicely to hide away complicated components from the users. Once the smart home and business automation system was user-friendly, an android mobile application was developed that would communicate with the system. “We wanted this part to be user-friendly too.

Instead of users typing a certain code and sending an SMS. They just click on the button on their phones to get whatever they wanted. It is that easy!” he said, with a delighted voice.

The security system component can be used in businesses, homes, schools and government offices. Or any place where security is of high importance. It can also be custom installed even in renting places, malaene, without interfering with owners’ property.

Upon detecting an intruder, it sends SMSes to all registered users. After sending the SMSes, the system further calls the registered users until a call is picked. There is also a high-pitched alarm which will ring to alert neighbors. In future, Mr Moahloli hopes to integrate a camera into the system so that, you can also receive pictures of intruders into your property—on your cellphone!

After testing and retesting the smart home and business automation system, the new company, NobleX, was born! It is ready to sell the stuff— to you! Interested investors are invited for further developments of the electronic systems.

If you want to buy yourself one, then you can email Khotso.

 

This blog post was originally written by NUL Research and Innovations

 

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