A 38-year-old Nigerian just launched a device that can smell explosives

Yesterday at the TEDGlobal event holding in Arusha, 38-year-old Nigerian neuroscientist, Oshirenoya Agabi launched the Koniku Kore device, a neurotechnology device which has the capacity to merge lab-grown neurons with electronic circuitry.

Agabi and his team of team of geneticists, physicists, bio-engineers, molecular biologists and others at his Silicon Valley start-up, Koniku (the world’s first neurocomputation outfit) set out to do something radical. Rather than take the route of trying to create machines that can mimic the brain, they decided to take the real biological cells and use in this new device. This device will now focus on solving problems that silicon devices cannot yet because of the limited capacity of simulated neurons.

One of the many things that the Koniku Kore device is already famed for is the capacity to sniff out explosives within airports, volatile chemicals or even illnesses such as cancer by “breathing in and smelling the air”.

The Koniku Kore prototype chip (June 2017)

According to Agabi, “major brands”, including those in the travel industry, had signed up for the device and the start-up’s current revenues of $8 million are expected to leap to $30 million by 2018.

Agabi‘s dream is to build a company that will develop a cognitive humanoid system based on synthetic living neurons in the next five to seven years. “We want to build a brain of biological neurons – an autonomous system that has intelligence. We do not want to build a human brain”, he told the Associated French Press. The company was built on the “premise that the human brain is the most powerful computer ever devised. [We] show that capturing that computational power is an engineering problem. Koniku proceeds to meet that challenge with clear solutions.”

At the opening session of the ongoing TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania, where he spoke yesterday, Agabi spoke about putting African ideas, innovation and creativity in the spotlight.

One comment

  1. This the kind of news I love to read…

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