Connect with us

General

Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, robotics engineer – Lifestyle – Pulselive.co.ke

Published

on

Loading...

[ad_1]

About 16 years ago, despite being unable to use a computer system in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, Silas Adekunle had a passion for dissecting technology and developing devices.

This passion drove him to further investigate the world of robotics technology when he arrived the United Kingdom at age 11 with his family. Years later, he finished with first class honours in Robotics at the University of West England, Bristol.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

Silas Adekunle, robotic engineer

(Leadership Newspaper)

 

Today, the 27-year-old Nigerian-born gamer is believed to be among the best brains in the field of robotics and one of the leading robotics engineer in the world.

Business Insider SSA caught up with Silas Adekunle to discuss his vision, ideas for STEM, a deal with Apple, his thoughts on the chances of robotics becoming prominent in Nigeria and of-course, to set the record straight on reports that he is highest paid robotics engineer in the world.

Behind the fame

Behind the fame and hype, Silas says starting a business is naturally a huge challenge. Silas runs Reach Robotics, a consumer robotics company. Reach makes robots for entertainment and gaming purposes.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

Mekamon Hero 5

(Reach Robotics)

 

When I started out, I had amazing support from my university and the Bristol Robotics Lab – but communicating the potential of MekaMon, as well as the technology itself, to people outside of that world required some imagination,” Silas says.

MekaMon is a first – a gaming robot with AR capabilities – an unfamiliar concept in video-gaming that he developed while in school.

Reach Robotics introduces MekaMon to global markets

In 2013, Silas pitched the prototype of MekaMon to several investors and started the company Reach Robotics – a program designed around the framework of robotics and gaming in education.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

REACH_founders, John Rees, Silas Adekunle and Chris Beck

(Reach Robotics)

 

Later he was joined by Chris Beck, a world-class robotics expert and John Rees, a manufacturing and operations expertise with a common belief for a more complex robotic toy with greater value and even greater longevity.

“Building the robotics and the software of MekaMon in tandem is core to our development but has added an additional layer of complexity as we aim to deliver a cutting-edge gaming experience, “ Silas tells Business Insider SSA.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

(Reach Robotics)

 

Then Apple came in

On his relationship with Apple, Silas says that launched the company into mass retail markets in November 2017 after pitching the MekaMon unit to one of the company’s investors. He said the pitch formed an instant connection as its products now sit proudly on Apple Store shelves across the UK and US, and shipping to a number of European countries.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

Mekamon Hero 2

Loading...

(Reach Robotics)

 

Silas expresses shock over reports describing him as the highest paid Robotics engineer in the world

The Reach Robotics team say they were slightly surprised to see the reports calling Silas “the highest paid robotics engineer in the world”.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

Silas Adekunle and Robot

(Reach Robotics)

 

“We were slightly surprised to see that statement being reported. The other major inaccuracy is the ‘deal with Apple’ – MekaMon is available on Apple, but we launched on there a year ago – and the leap in logic that said launch makes him the highest paid robotics engineer is not factual.

Silas added about the report, “It’s certainly very flattering but not true just yet. Having MekaMon listed on Apple last year was a big step forward for Reach and we’ll continue to work to get our technology in the hands of as many people as possible.


Business Insider talks to Silas Adekunle, the 27-year-old Nigerian making waves in the world of robotics engineeringplay

Mekamon

(Reach Robotics)

The impact of Reach’s world-class gaming robot

He says playing games is an excellent way to learn – making MekaMon, and consumer robotics as a whole, an ideal pathway into engineering, game design and coding.

“We believe that this technology has huge potential within STEM education – both as a teaching aid and as a means to inspire the next generation – whatever their backgrounds – to aspire to a career in STEM.”

Nigeria and Africa in the gaming mix


Nigerian inventor Silas Adekunle builds world's first gaming robotics companyplay

Nigerian inventor Silas Adekunle builds world’s first gaming robotics company – Reach Robotics

(Pulse)

 

Nigerian-born Silas says his company is looking at the potential in the Nigerian market and “inevitably I’ll have an eye on the country where I grew up – but we’re not on sale in Nigeria just yet.”

“I’m also very aware of the value of role models in encouraging young people to pursue a career in STEM. I hope that I might be a positive example of what is possible for kids in Nigeria with the same passion for dissecting technology and developing devices that I did at their age.”

Also from Business Insider Sub-Sahara Africa:



[ad_2]

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

Loading...

However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Drastic life changes affecting mental health

Published

on

Loading...

Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

Loading...

Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Loading...
Continue Reading

Trending