Africa’s first humanoid robot, Omiefe has been built by a Nigerian company, Uniccon. It speaks English, French, Arabic, Kiswahili, Pidgin, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Afrikaans. The robot was built as a 6 feet female Igbo character.
Omeife was publicly introduced by the Abuja-based Uniccon Group at GITEX GLOBAL, the largest tech, and startup show in the world, which welcomed over 200 000 attendees from more than 174 nations, last month.
Chuks Ekwueme, CEO of the Uniccon Group of Companies, referred to Omeife as the ultimate joy for removing linguistic or cultural barriers in Africa.
“Omoife is not only a multilingual expert; she also possesses the amazing capacity to switch between languages while interacting with others using precise hand gestures, such as smiling and other bodily motions that help match the tone of the conversation and eliminate any interfacial or unreal interaction.”
The age of humanoid is here and it is a universal reality, said Ekwueme.
Adding: “Africa is fast being recognized for its contribution to the global tech ecosystem. Through Omeife and other projects, we’re happy to play a part in helping businesses and people all over Africa use the most innovative technologies for efficiency.”
The idea for the robot began in 2020 and has been in development ever since. Omeife is run by Artificial intelligence also developed in Nigeria by Uniccon scientists.
The AI enables it to react in real time to the terrain and also conversation and voice prompts.
According to Dockaysworld the robot’s nature is programmed to be African and avoid rude remarks while remaining polite and respectful.
Omeife can move around flat surfaces and also grip items. Though robots are being developed to carry out human labour, the journey so far remains slow with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s ‘Optimus’ being another example. The robot can barely complete human tasks.
According to the CEO, Omeife is not built primarily for labour rather for intellectual capabilities.
While other African humanoid robot developments have been in the works before Omeife, Uniccon group is the first to announce its completion.
Uniccon plans to produce the robot for use across sectors. Each will sell for US$30,000