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iLABROC team from left to right: Timilehin Ogunyemi (Participant) 400 level, Obasegun Ayodele (Coach) 500 level, Victor Shoaga (Participant) 400 level.

Having the opportunity to meet the bright and young faces of Nigeria’s future, we found that their optimistic outlook and innovative spirit in the face of financial struggles, with high unemployment, specifically youth unemployment rates in West Africa, promising.

Hailing from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State and backed by United States National Instruments, headquartered in Austin, Texas, and Dr. Olusoji Ilori of OAU; these young boys, majoring in electrical engineering, were chosen to compete in the international World Robotics Olympiad in Qatar, in November 2015.

The competition featured the young hopefuls making robots for competitions that could handle daily household tasks or with abilities to do more fun activities like bowling.

As part of the ILAB robotics research group, the students went to represent the country in the University Category (and the task for the university category is Building a Bowling Robot). Obasegun Ayodele (Coach) 500 level, Victor Shoaga (Participant) 400 level, and Timilehin Ogunyemi (Participant) 400 level were the Robotics group popularly known as iLABROC(iLab Robotics Club) that made Nigerians proud.


Project ‘Humane’


What is more astounding, according to the group, and, is not only their participation in the aforementioned international competition but their creation of a device to help the disabled. Project ‘Humane’ is a prototype device that seeks to help make smartphones accessible to the blind.

Humane makes smartphone operation easier for the visually impaired. It helps them select music files, play selected videos (though they can only listen), surf the web, set or check the time, and the list goes on.

Team humane from left to right: Otaru Babatunde(400level),Victor Shoaga(400level), Ayodele Obasegun(500level).
Team humane from left to right: Otaru Babatunde (400level),Victor Shoaga (400level), Ayodele Obasegun (500level). Photo Courtesy of Timilehin Ogunyemi.

Humane is a software that comes with a manual controller .The software itself is downloaded into the user’s phone and then the user is given the controller and an identification number. The identification number is entered into the software for compatibility with the controller.

Humane has been successfully activated but the biggest merit is that for an app that can do so much, its connection is simply by Bluetooth – the same way two phones are connected for file sharing.