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South African company eMoyo partnered with NASA to launch an innovative technology product space, for use on the International Space Station.
The product was eMoyo’s KUDUwave portable audiometer, which has been used to test and diagnose auditory deficiencies in South Africa in 2009.
The reason? NASA wants to investigate the effect that the noisy environment of the station has on astronauts’ hearing. However, the agency has lacked equipment that is easy enough to operate and light enough to transport to space.
And that’s where eMoyo’s KUDUwave comes in.
How will the eMoyo KUDUwave be useful in space?
What makes the KUDUwave different from many other diagnostic technologies is that it does not require a booth.
While it has been in use in SA for over a decade, the technology has now been optimised for spaceflight and NASA’s requirements.
Founder of eMoyo, Dirk Koekemoer, started planning the new version of the KUDUwave six years ago.
“Six years ago, I drew a simple image on my office blackboard, one that showed my dream of reaching for the stars. I just knew this product was going to change lives, change the world — and space travel was my dream,” Koekemoer said.
The new KUDUwave meets all of NASA’s requirements, including:
- The ability to provide valid clinical data.
- Providing a web-based solution that’s compatible with NASA’s computer OS.
- A lightweight form factor.
- Being simple enough for astronauts to use independently, without assistance from Mission Control.
- The ability to test middle ear function.
- The ability to monitor and report on background noise levels.
Thanks to these innovations, astronauts will be able to complete the tests onboard the station. The results can then be studied to see the impact the environment has on their hearing.
The technology arrived aboard the station in February, following a successful cargo launch. Astronauts will start conducting the first tests in May.
“This is a truly South African story. The will, the grit and the determination to create a product that will change the lives of so many people and we at eMoyo are so proud to be a part of that change,” Jillian Scotland, COO of eMoyo says.
Feature image: NASA