The Nigerian Invention That Can Smell Explosives and Cancer Cells

Koniku Kore -Oshiorenoya Agabi, the founder of  “Koniku”, a Tech startup, is a Nigerian neuroscientist who has taken technology to a whole new level. The 38-year-old is the brain behind the newly invented Computer that can smell explosives.

This computer has been trained to recognize the smell of explosives and could be used to replace traditional airport security.

See Also: Ghana’s Radio Astronomy Observatory: Everything You Should Know

Silicon Valley-based Agabi unveiled his invention at TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania on Sunday, August 27, and says it could one day revolutionize airport security, enabling travelers “to walk from their car to the aircraft.”

According to the inventor,  the Koniku Kore device is “a world first” and is able to do that through breathing in and smelling the air.

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

While computers are better than humans at complex mathematical equations, there are many cognitive functions where the brain is much better: training a computer to recognize smells would require colossal amounts of computational power and energy, Agabi says.

See Also: Ghana Now 2nd Country to Produce Walking Egg Technology Baby

According to him, “You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives.” Mr. Agabi is also hopeful of a time when his invention will be used at various points in airports; eliminating the need for queues to get through airport security.

One of the main challenges was finding a way to keep the neurons alive, a secret Agabi did not wish to expand on, saying only they could be kept alive for two years in a lab environment and two months in the device.

Mr. Agabi 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.

As well as being used for bomb detection, the device could be used to detect illness by sensing markers of a disease in the air molecules that a patient gives off.