At a time when Nigeria is trying to catch up with the technological advancement of developed nations, one of her own, 26-year-old Silas Adekunle, is taking over the robotics world with his ingenuity and innovation.
Adekunle was born and had some of his education in Nigeria before relocating to the UK when he was a teenager. Having completed his secondary school education, he proceeded to the University of the West of England where he graduated with a first class graduate in Robotics.
In 2013, he founded Reach Robotics, a company with an aim to infuse gaming and augmented reality to perform functions. Ever ready to learn, he gained experience on robotics within a space of 4 years and also became a team leader of Robotics In Schools programme, a programme which encourages and pays attention to students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It was during his involvement in the programme that he thought of developing robotics to make education more entertaining for STEM students.
In 2017, Mekamon, the world's first gaming robot was born. A part of its unique feature is the ability to customise the gaming bot to perform personalised functions. Despite being hit by disbelief when he was seeking funds, his initial launch of Mekamon sold 500 bots, generating $7.5 million.
Owing to this milestone success, Adekunle has received support from various organisations including London Venture Partners $10 million (N360 million). In the same year, Reach Robotics signed a deal with Apple securing exclusive sales in Apple stores.
Not only have his works gained recognition, but he was also listed in the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Technology.
He notes that the secrets to his success are balance, shared ideas, time management and being oneself.
Update: Adekunle has now become the highest paid robotics engineer in the world and has also been described as the smartest robotics engineer in the world.
This article was originally published on the 13th of June, 2018.