A twenty-four year old Nigerian student at the International College of Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sri Lanka, Bobai Ephraim Kato, has built a fully functional artificial intelligence robot for his final year project.
Kato, a software engineering student who hails from the Atyap tribe in Kaduna State, personally built the robot and developed the algorithm that it used to solve the famous Rubik cube puzzle in minutes. According to him, the knowledge he gained from previous classes on Artificial Intelligence Systems set the pace for his work with the robot.
His first work with Artificial Intelligence was “Wine Quality Test”, a piece of software which uses artificial intelligence to determine the quality of wine. However, when his class got the directive to create software that uses Artificial Intelligence for predictions and solutions, he was forced to do some research in order to get ideas on what exactly to do. He admits that he was initially stuck until he stumbled on the idea of the robot.
Before studying in Sri Lanka, Kato had twice failed to gain admission into Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria to study medicine, despite writing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams twice. He also failed to get into the remedial school at ABU, and Kaduna State University (KASU) did not accept him either.
He finally managed to get into KASU’s remedial school before he got a chance to try out the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) scholarship exam. His success story finally took shape over the next four years as he eventually ended up in Sri Lanka’s ICBT.
Kato says he had to deal with a lot of failures in the course of his project and an unimpressed supervisor.
“My first 5 tests were a failure. The robot always shot a scanning error, and this was a week to my final submission. All I could do was pray. I didn’t know what to do again. I was confused and restless. I kept grinding and it finally started working. At that stage, the robot wasn’t intelligent enough and I had to train it to solve many puzzles to get more skills to save in the database,” he says.
He spent two nights building the robot. After construction, he installed the software which served as the brain into a memory card for testing. A week to Kato’s final submission, the robot was still not functional. It took six tries to get the robot to work, and then a few days to increase its intelligence quotient. It was hard work for Kato, as he could not solve the Rubik’s Cube himself.
Kato claims that there isn’t a lot opportunity in Nigeria, but it is the responsibility of the populace to create opportunity. He also believes that the country can get rid of terrorism if they employ savvy and sincere individuals to man digital investigation, cyber security and forensic computing.
In the spirit of giving back, his new focus is on forensic computing, cyber security, and digital investigation, which he hopes to put to full use when he goes back to Nigeria.
“I’m happy to return to Nigeria as a Cyber Security and Digital forensic Tech,” he says. “If anything, that’s what Nigeria needs more. We need people who are savvy and sincere in Digital Investigation, Cyber Security and Forensic computing.”
This article first appeared HERE