African Innovators: Nigerian Student Builds Artificial Intelligence Robot

Innovator: Bobai Ephraim Kato

Against All Odds…

Sometimes rejection is to simply direct us onto another path, a path where you are likely to excel even greater.  Nigerian Software Engineering student, Bobai Ephraim Kato, who built a fully functioning Artificial Intelligence robot is a great example. Having been rejected at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) to study medicine in 2009, Kato decided to make the most out the situation by enrolling at the International College of Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sri Lanka.

Describing himself as a learner with a high level of technological insight, the 24 year old engineer proudly built the robot and developed the algorithm which enabled the artistic robot to solve a puzzle within a few minutes.  Young Kato has, from an early age, been passionate about computing and technology. At school, he excelled in Chemistry, Physics and Biology- this is what led him to believe that he would be better off in the health sciences.

According to Kato, building a robot isn’t something he has always dreamt of doing, it had nothing to do with his future plans.  For his final year project, the young software engineer was expected to create a software that uses Artificial Intelligence for predictions and solutions.  It was only after doing extensive research that he got the idea of building a robot which could solve difficult puzzles.


“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,” explains Kato.

Kato now plans on taking his skills back to his roots, Nigeria, where he will return as a Cyber Security and Digital Forensic Tech.  “We need people who are savvy and sincere in Digital Investigation, Cyber Security and Forensic computing. The world today is bent on technology, the corruption in the world today is bent on it too,” he said.

In the famous words of Thomas Edison, “there’s a way to do it better, find it!”. It is encouraging to see young innovative minds springing out of the continent of Africa, who have the ability to compete on global stages judging from the innovations they are coming up with.