Robotics team from University of Ibadan win Professor Awojobi design competition

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Lagos (Nigeria), August 16, 2019 – Five students from the University of Ibadan have won One Million Naira at the Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC) for a solution that leverages robotics and artificial intelligence to solve societal problems. Hive, an Andela-like student-led learning community that builds robots to solve Nigeria’s social problems while teaching relevant industrial skills won a keenly contested competition at the third annual edition of PAADC, held at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium recently, beating 49 other teams from 20 African tertiary institutions to clinch the grand prize, as well as pro bono venture building and mentoring support, all funded by Verraki Partners, a business solutions company focused on accelerating the development and transformation of Africa.

Hive was rated best idea during the competition by an expert panel of judges that included Tomi Otudeko, Head, Innovation and Sustainability, Honeywell Group; Adia Sowho, Managing Director, Mines.io; Demilade Adesiyan, Programmes Manager, NeuBridges; Azeez Ogunjobi, CEO, SImbi Interactives and Chinasa Onuzo, Vice President, African Capital Alliance. The judges critically analyzed the teams’ entries and assessed the applications based on product performance/dynamics, value potential, scalability, business model, monetization, price sustainability, competitive advantage, customer acquisition and partnership projections among others.

Vice President, African Capital Alliance and chief judge of the contest, Chinaza Onuzo, commended the top winners of the design competition, stressing why Hive won the grand prize. According to him “The fact that the project has very clearly defined ambitions has gone a long way in securing the bag. Much more than I expected, we might be looking at our own iron man”.

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The first runner-up was Team WantToPrint, from Obafemi Awolowo University with an online platform that connects students to printing houses on campus and allows them to save time while Team iGlass from Ahmadu Bello University which created a visual assistant for visually impaired citizens (students especially) was the second runner up. Their invention – iGlass takes instructions from the visually impaired user and converts it to actions such as surfing the internet and giving information about the environment.

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The third edition (PAADC 3.0) themed “The influence of innovation and technology in a progressive society” featured over two thousand, three hundred engaged participants as well as leading academics, technology and start-up founders. Attendees included the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the chief host and other representatives from the host University. Keynote addresses were delivered by Juliet Anammah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jumia Nigeria and Honourable Hakeem Fahm, former Commissioner for Science and Technology, Lagos State while panel discussants include CEO Max.ng, Adetayo Bamiduro; Lead Innovation & Data Unit; Chief Innovation and Data Officer, Wema Bank, Konstantin Tsanis; Innovation Manager, MTN Nigeria, Victor Orie-Ononogbu; Nigeria Climate Innovation Center CEO, Bankole Toba, Senior Partner, Ventures, Verraki; Kelvin Balogun; Digital Head, Starcom Media Perspectives, Ose Osundeko; Red Media Africa CEO, Tunde Kara, and a representative of the Lagos State Office of Transformation, Creativity and Information, Bolanle Norman. Former President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Engineer Titi Omo-Ettu who was a student of the late Professor Ayodele Awojobi in 1969 at the University of Lagos was also in attendance, in addition to several other industry leaders, Nigerian students and undergraduates and young professionals.

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There were presentations from the highest-ranking teams in the application pool for the third edition of the competition including teams from the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, and Obafemi Awolowo University. Event sponsor, Verraki Partners, represented by the Manager, Marketing and Communications, Temitope Osunrinde commended the top winners and urged all participants to upskill themselves so that they can contribute to the digital revolution.

The event was hosted by the University of Lagos Engineering Society and an extensive team student from the University of Lagos led by Adedayo Aruwajoye, a 500-level engineering undergraduate. Event sponsors this year were Lagos State Government, Verraki Business Solutions, GasInvest Limited, Kawai technologies, Verod Foundation, Lagos Innovates (LSETF) and Wema Bank while partners included Primero Transport Services Limited, Nigerian Bottling Company, SemiColon Africa, MTN, Friesland Campina, SeamFix, HubOne, Techpoint, Nigerian Info 99.3 FM and Ventures Platform.

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