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#TEDGlobal2017: Nigerian Neuroscientist builds Computer that can Smell Explosives



#TEDGlobal2017: Nigerian neuroscientist builds computer that can smell explosives

Oshiorenoya Agabi speaking at TEDGlobal 2017 – Builders, Truth Tellers, Catalysts – August 27-30, 2017, Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Oshiorenoya Agabi, Nigerian neuroscientist and founder of “Koniku”, a Tech startup has unveiled a computer based not on silicon but on mice neurons at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

The 38-year-old said his flagship product called “Koniku Kore” has been trained to recognise the smell of explosives and could be used to replace traditional airport security.

According to BBC News, all of the big tech firms, from Google to Microsoft, are rushing to create artificial intelligence modelled on the human brain while Agabi is attempting to reverse-engineer biology, which already accomplishes this function.

“Biology is technology. Bio is tech,” he says. “Our deep learning networks are all copying the brain.”

In an interview with CNN, Agabi explained how it is possible to detect diseases using the device.

“One of the problems that plague us right now is security, explosives have particles and smells coming off the individual and with our device you can tell, without requiring line of sight or contact, you can scan them at the time at a place of your own choosing and you can get into an aircraft and go about your business.”

Agabi grew up Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria, and obtained a Bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Lagos. He then travelled to Sweden and Switzerland to further his studies in physics and neuroscience.

He launched his start-up Koniku over a year ago, raised $1m (£800,000) in funding and claims it is already making profits of $10m in deals with the security industry.

Koniku Kore is an amalgam of living neurons and silicon, with olfactory capabilities, basically sensors that can detect and recognise smells.


  1. Seriously

    August 29, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Wow! Congrats genius. This is amazing.

  2. Sherri

    August 30, 2017 at 12:55 am


  3. RareGem

    August 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    This is a great move considering the epileptic security challenge facing Nigeria and the world at large

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