Nigerian Inventor Creates Computer That Can Smell Explosives And Cancer Cells

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: September 1, 2017, 7:10 am
Nigerian inventor Oshiorenya Agabi has created a device that can smell explosives. Photo - Independent NewspapersNigerian inventor Oshiorenya Agabi has created a device that can smell explosives. Photo - Independent Newspapers

Nigerian inventor Oshiorenoya Agabi has designed and developed a computer that can identify the smell of explosives and cancer cells through a combination of neurons and silicon.

The Nigerian neuroscientist, who is based in Silicon Valley, unveiled his incredible invention at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania this week.

Agabi’s neurotechnology startup Koniku has developed the modem-sized artificial intelligence device that uses a combination of mice neurons and circuitry to detect and recognize smells, such as explosives for use in bomb detection, according to BizCommunity.

Applications for this kind of revolutionary technology include airport security, bomb squad operations and bomb disposal activities in war-torn countries.

In addition, numerous medical breakthroughs could be possible, as the device could also be used to detect illness by sensing markers of a disease in the air molecules that a patient gives off, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Being able to smell and detect cancer cells at an early stage could lead to huge gains in early detection and treatment of such diseases.

Nigerian inventor with a neurotechnology startup

Agabi discussed Koniku Kore, as his device is known, at the TEDGlobal Tanzania, with 700 researchers, innovators, and academics from all over the world in attendance to discuss technology, science, and politics in the African context.

“Biology is technology. Biology has the most extensive open source hardware and software,” Agabi said, according to BBC.

“You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives,” he added.

“This device can live on a desk and we can keep them alive for a couple of months. We think that the processing power that is going to run the robots of the future will be synthetic biology-based and we are laying the foundations for that today,” he said.

The Nigerian inventor revealed that major brands were already putting his technology to use, with the company’s current $8 million revenue expected to increase to $30 million in 2018, Quartz reports.

Agabi is a member of several international science and engineering societies, including the Swiss Physical Society, Swiss Society for Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, American Physical Society and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, according to NaijaNews.

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