The shining unconventional scientist Billy Rwodzi (right) explains the operation of a cellphone-controlled water pump at the Mashonaland West provincial cookout competitions.

Walter NyamukondiwaMashonaland West Bureau Chief 

In the flatlands of Zvimba is a dreamer who has delved into the scientific realms and woken up to develop novel innovations that will tickle the interest of electronics specialists in military and electrical innovations.

From a solar-powered gun that detects motion to triangulate a target to an irrigation system controlled by a mobile phone anywhere in the world, the dreamer is not slowing down.

He has even tried to develop a missile but had to stop the process until he gets clearance from the authorities. 

At just 21 years, Billy Rwodzi who lives in the rural plains of Matoranhembe in Zvimba, Mashonaland West, is a self-taught technician whose encounter with technology started when he came across an old computer at home.

He was in Grade 6 at the time. 

Billy started stripping parts from the computer. That was to be the beginning of his passion in electronics.

Then one day, while in Form 2 at Mhandu Secondary School, Billy attended a Mashonaland West provincial science exhibition.

“I just went to observe because I had not been given time to prepare,” he said.

But he reckoned he could come up with better innovations than what he had seen at the exhibition.

It is then when he made a humanoid robot, which could only grab and release something, turn and make some movements.

“I could not continue with the project because of lack of funds,” he explained.

During the same year, he developed a solar powered gun, which could detect movement and then aim at the moving target. 

“I would use big capacitors which I would overcharge and they explode with the metal cover hitting the target,” explains Billy. 

Amazingly, he was coming from the rural areas, with no exposure to science labs and even today, he is doing commercial subjects at A Level, accounts, business studies and economics.

But earlier he exhibited and won a prize at a science fair. 

He then started having dreams making circuits and being told the name of every component in the dream.

“At first I took it for granted as just mere dreams but later started taking the dreams seriously,” he said. 

He started writing the dreams down and drawing sketches and diagrams as he saw them in the dream.

The frequency of dreams increased each time he thought of making a particular system. 

“The dreams came, even twice in one night and if I don’t get the concept, the dream continues or restarts the next time I sleep,” explains Billy.

At one time, an engineer came and saw the circuit he had designed and started naming the components on it but he did not name them by name.

“I would only know the concept and behaviour of the component. The engineer would tell me that those are diodes. I only knew that it does not reverse polarity,” said Billy.

He recently demonstrated the operation of a mobile phone controlled water pump at the Mashonaland West provincial cookout competitions.

The system amazed Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Barbara Rwodzi who instructed Billy to visit Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Devolution Minister Marian Chombo to link him up with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.

Billy punched in a code on his smart phone and water started coming out of a tap.

He repeated the process and water immediately stopped flowing from the tap.

This process, he claimed, could be carried out from any part of the world where there was network. 

“I have never gone to school for this. I just sit down and start thinking. I have my small workshop where I spend time writing down concepts and doing tests,” he narrated.

“Last time I made an explosive that is essentially a missile which I can control using the signal from a cellphone and determine when it should explode. For this, I will need further permission so that I can fully exercise myself.” 

At one time, he made a system that could lock and unlock doors using a cellphone before learning that the system is already commercially available.

“I did not give up however, I just told myself that I had to move on and come up with something unique,” said a tenacious Billy.

When he went to Matoranhembe High School for his A Levels, he started having dreams of being told to make a system that would send passwords for unlimited distances using a basic phone. 

“You send a password via an SMS and the computer recognises the password and unlocks without the internet or charges,” he said.

It was during that period when he developed the irrigation system that is controlled by a mobile phone without the need for internet services and without incurring                               costs.

“I just thought that vegetables cannot die because someone is not around to water the garden. I came up with the cheaper option which cannot be constrained by distance,” he said.

“You can switch the water pump on and off, and if I do the configurations you can even start your car using a phone.”

Explaining the process, Billy said, he made a circuit that links with a cell phone and it picks the signal from the mobile phone and determines whether it’s on or off instruction. 

What one needs are two sets of codes that are on the mobile phone, which are on and off, he said. 

His desire is to have his system integrated to remotely detonate explosives in mines for safety.

He is also developing a system, which generates 230 volts for four years without recharging it.

“I am upgrading my smart weapon system I developed a weapon which uses voice recognition to identify the enemy it uses a cellphone to detonate and I am developing a system which uses SHAREit to open water taps,” he said.

Billy said he was upgrading his smart phone-controlled irrigation system so that it generates its own power without using a battery or a solar panel.

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