Soluciones Espiral is a group of self-employed workers whose purpose is the conception of projects in the field of informatics, electronics, telecommunications and automation.

In statements to Negocios en Cuba, one of its members, computer science graduate Abel Bermejo, stressed that one of the main motivations of the group is the possibility of replacing imports in these areas.

The proposed contribution, he clarified, is not only to dispense with certain raw materials acquired abroad, but also the capacity to provide fundamental technological knowledge and technical advice which, in turn, generate considerable expenditures.

Our concept, he revealed, is the creation of prototypes for further industrial development.

He said, it is about integrated technology solutions ranging from the required automation and transmission -if necessary- to computerization to achieve control in a control panel or in a mobile device.

In conjunction with several specialists, such as Ariel Hernandez and Abel Barrientos, the group has nuclear to more than a dozen members although, depending on the needs, they can hire others.

One of the successful alliances with the state sector arose from the need to replace the defective plates of the equipment used to manufacture ice for various tourist entities. That purpose was what facilitated the approach to Tecnotur, said Barrientos.

So far, he added, we have delivered 50 of these cards, which can cost more than 500 euros internationally; we obtain them from idle elements and components that could be reused, as in the case of the frapping machines.

In short, he revealed, we made the contract and today we are developing these implements in Cuba, with a reduction of almost 60 percent of the cost.

Broad horizons

The group covers a wide range of fields, so it is not unusual for it to be involved in educational projects and others related to livestock production.

One of the attractive plans in which it participates is the systematization of robotics education in the country.

It all began, Bermejo recalled, with a request from Cinesoft for the formation of workshops for children in this field.

The computer scientist said that, based on the results of the courses for children between 7 and 14 years of age, the feasibility of introducing robotics in the educational system was demonstrated and, through a bidding process, Cinesoft sought the creation of prototypes to generalize the experience.

According to Bermejo, this desire, which has been in the making for more than three years, has become a multifactorial project led by the Cuban Institute of Pedagogical Sciences and made up of teachers and methodologists who validate the programs at the different teaching levels.

Always taking into account, he pointed out, that robotics is not the end but a means for the child to acquire certain skills from the cognitive point of view.

For this reason, they have already designed two prototypes for preschool and primary education, and for the secondary level -at Cinesoft’s request and on their own initiative- they intend to introduce home automation.

He specified that most of the components of the robot are idle elements of state-owned companies, as is the case, for example, of the wheels, which happen to be of the pointing devices (the well-known mouses or mice) in disuse; and he added that the plates are obtained through a contract with another self-employed person who manufactures them.

An important line of work for Soluciones Espiral is the automation of agricultural processes.

In this regard, Barrientos confirmed, they have been collaborating for more than a year with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Informatics and Communications Company.

The goal, he remarked, is the creation of an intelligent dairy farm based on the automation of five processes at these sites.

These are electronic identification of the cattle, their location in real time, automation of milking, feed distribution and weighing, and control of veterinary parameters, he said.

He said that this would translate into the supervision of a group of processes from a computer, which would make it possible to measure the productive performance of each of the animals and, depending on the data obtained, define the protocol that would lead to an increase in yields.

The prototype already exists for this task, the whole computerization part has been designed, that is, how it will be seen in the servers, and we are planning the pilot exercise in the Pradera Roja dairy farm, located east of Havana, he said.

New provisions

In the opinion of the interviewees, the latest governmental provisions that increase the number of options for self-employment to more than 2,000, and encourage the presentation of projects that include several modalities, are favorable.

They expressed that the country is currently making very good decisions regarding the non-state sector, especially for the intention of not prescribing differences between both forms of management that, in the end, converge in a common objective: national development.

Bermejo added, “For us, this is magnificent, because we understand that a greater productive linkage is necessary, which does not have to be limited to state-owned companies.

This linkage is essential to transfer to the latter entities the lines of self-employed projects with proven efficiency and which generate benefits in terms of import substitution and technological sovereignty, in addition to having attractive qualities for the foreign market, he said.

The specialists described as very beneficial the rules that facilitate international trade activities.

In fact, our group is preparing an agreement with the company Copextel aimed at importing the components we need and perhaps, in the medium term, exporting them, said Bermejo.