BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

FG unveils Africa’s first humanoid robot

....projected to generate $11.6bn in 3yrs

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday unveiled Africa’s first Humanoid Robot in Abuja. The robot named Omeife has near-human resemblance, language competency, movement, and navigation using Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision capabilities.

The six-foot tall robot with female features was developed by a tech company called UNICCON Group of Companies. The firm projects that the Humanoid, if commercialized could generate an estimated $11.6 billion in three years.

The Vice President who was represented by Isa Pantami, minister of communication and digital economy, at the unveiling noted that the domestication of the artificial intelligence will help serve the need of citizens. He also affirmed the support of the federal government for the domestication of the technology.

“We are ready to support you and commercialize this technology. We want to see it deployed in our farms, road construction and in our classrooms. The Vice President therefore directed the National information technology development Agency to partner with UNICCON for the commercialization of the Omeife technology.

The UNICCON Group chairman Chuks Ekwueme sought the support from stakeholders not just to commercialize it but also in patronage and usage. “I’m calling on the government, investors, public sector and industries to see how they can partner with us,” he urged.

Speaking earlier, Kehinde Oghenekevwe, the general manager of the group,  explained that the technology was not developed for publicity but to bridge the digital space gap and the need to sell products that is unique to the African setting.

“These robots are here to assist humans and not take their jobs. The robots which has human characteristics can be used for surveillance purposes, intelligence gathering and research, voice transmission, intelligent conversations,” he added.

Omeife is a flexible and helpful robot that has been programmed to have a thorough awareness of African cultural norms and behavioural styles.

It has the ability to speak eight different languages including Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, French, Arabic, Kiswahili, Pidgin, Wazobia Afrikaans and the English language.

Pantami unveiled the robot for the first time at GITEX in Dubai while complimenting the UNICCON Group’s dedication to playing a significant role in encouraging innovation in Africa.