A Nigerian tech company on Friday unveiled Africa’s first humanoid robot dubbed ‘Omeife’, which can speak eight languages including English, French, Arabic, Kiswahili, Pidgin, Wazobia, Afrikaans, and Igbo.
The six-foot-tall human-like robot built as a female Igbo character was developed at the StemFocus Robotics Lab by Uniccon Group of Companies, a two-year-old Nigerian technology startup based in Abuja, according to reports.
The robot has a deep understanding of African culture and behavioral patterns, thanks to sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms developed in-house by the company’s team of scientists.
The Group’s CEO Chuks Ekwueme said the humanoid provides language as a service for businesses that need to integrate native African audiences, adding that she is a multipurpose and assistance robot.
“It Identifies and tags humans through face and facial expressions, paying attention to a specific item when required. It Identifies objects, knows their characteristics and also calculates positions and distances of objects it sees,” the CEO said.
He added: “It pays attention to a specific person to keep the conversation alive. It is careful and aware of words, phrases, sentences and expressions that are not polite in African cultures. It is safe for the kid’s smooth interaction, it is not reactive and it is knowledgeable in various fields and always teachable.”
To improve and understand new things from conversations, Omeife has the ability to recall and understand old concepts better with new information.
Its features include terrain intelligence, position awareness, advanced gestures, grip and it is also programmed to have a deep understanding of African culture and behavioral patterns.
“For terrain intelligence, knowing the level of ground and stability of itself on the floor, this will help it navigate on non-flat surfaces and maintain good balance. For position awareness, the GPS for location and state-management is for knowing whether the system is standing, walking or talking, Advanced gestures are the expression of talking, hand illustrations, smile and other bodily gestures. Grip is the ability to size, understand shape and how to hold things with its hand,” Ekwueme said.