Nigerian Oshi Agabi amazed the world by coming up with a computer that can detect the smell of explosives. The scientist, who resides in Silicon Valley, was raised in Surulere in Lagos, Nigeria and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Lagos. He then furthered his studies in Physics and Neuroscience in Sweden and Switzerland. This invention was revealed during the 2017 edition TedGlobal Conference held in Arusha, Tanzania, where several researchers and innovators were in attendance.
The device, which was named Koniku Kore by its founder, is not limited to detecting explosives since it can detect cancer cells as well (Seyi,2017). With the persistent problems related to security, Agabi thinks that the Koniku Kore will be revolutionary when it comes to airport security since it will assist to get rid of queues. It is also applicable in bomb squad operations and bomb disposal exercises in countries with a lot of armed conflicts.
He had launched the innovation in the previous year and earned millions of dollars working with the security and pharmaceutical sectors. This device is the first to merge live neurons from mice stem cells into a silicon chip. They can live on a desk and be kept alive for some months. Keeping the neurons alive has been one of the greatest problems facing the biological system. The neurons are usually given instructions on what to do and in this case, they are told to provide a receptor that can detect explosives. It detects ailments by sensing markers of diseases in the air molecules that a patient emits. Being able to detect cancer cells during the initial stage will be such an advancement in the health sector and will help save a lot of lives.
Agabi believes that his company is laying the foundation for the processing power that is going to control robots in the future to be based on synthetic biology. This will be done by inserting the computer into the brains of robots and train them to identify danger through smells. He went ahead to mention that the brain is the most powerful processor the world has ever seen. He considers biology as technology since it has the most comprehensive open source hardware and software.
He is part of a number of international science and engineering societies such as the Swiss Society for Neuroscience, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Swiss Physical Society, American Physical Society and Society for Neuroscience. Many are worried that advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are leading scientists to invent devices that function like the human brain. This is because they feel humans will become obsolete. Agabi, on the other hand, is all for these computers based on neurons.
He said, “Digital computers are fast and reliable but dumb, whereas neurons are slow but smart.”
Other scientists are innovating silicon chips, which can imitate how neurons operate. Agabi is confident that these systems cannot be better than his. All in all, this invention will help make more technological advancements in the security and health sectors.