Robert Shimaingo






Designer-in-Residence Robert Shimaingo
Location Zambia
Inventions Rope maker machine
Green charcoal kiln
Vegetable chopper
Underwater, dam-free turbine
At D-Lab


Meet D-Lab Designer-in-Residence, Robert Shimaingo 
Robert is an alumni from the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) Zambia 2013 and widely regarded as one of the most gifted inventors in the region. He completed high school but has no formal training in engineering or fabrication. Robert brings self-taught metal fabrication, machining, and welding skills to his work.

Robert has worked with the Technology Development and Advisory Unit (TDAU) at the University of Zambia. He is committed to creating technologies that improve the lives and income of people in his community. Robert currently works freelance but will soon by employed by the International Developoment Innoation Network to run a new local innovation center in his community. He is married, and has three children. This is his first visit to the United States.

Current Project 
His current major project, a water turbine, addresses the need for power and refrigeration along the Kfue river to facilitate the fish trade. Kafue is one of the major fish tading towns in Zambia and supplies fish to most of the country.

As many as half of local residents earn their living from fishing but prices must be slashed when the fish cannot be kept cold. The power generated by his turbine is intended for a refrigeration system that will enable fish caught locally to be stored and sold at the best price. Robert hopes turbines like this one can be set up eventually all along the river, wherever power and refridgeration would improve the lives of the local fishing community. The current challenges they are facing are moving the rig from the bank to the water. Robert has designed a propeller and is considering buying na engine.

Design Specifications
River flowrate: 1.5-2.5 m/s
Length of the rig: 9m
Shaft length: 6m
Shaft diameter: 25mm
Turbine diameter: 2.8m
Max power output: 3kw
Gear ratio: 1:30