Two twelve-year-olds independently built two robots to do their house chores because they hate it that much, and perhaps because they wanted to free up more time to do more cool stuff like this one.
Somewhere in Nigeria, there’s a couple of kids who may have found a way to escape house chores, and this has nothing to do with telling fibs or sneaking out of the house.
These Nigerian preteens are basically saying “no” to house chores, but they are not cut from the same material as those “bad kids” who have made something of daily life out of being unruly and disobedient.
If anything, these two young Nigerians are brilliant kids. And that’s because they’ve gotten machines to do most of the household chores that they are generally expected to handle. I mean, who needs to break a sweat or lift a hand when that trashed room can be put back together in less than half the time by a couple of machines?
Well, that’s the story of these times. The machine invasion is upon us (there’s only excitement here, no fear), and even the kids are getting in on the act. That’s probably the feeling that trailed last week’s revelation – two Nigerian twelve-year-olds who went through sleepless nights building robots that would take care of some of their chores while they slept in on a Saturday morning and not be bothered by the customary; “Wake up! I thought I asked you to sort those clothes and fold them neatly.” How cool is that!
Move over Marie Kondo! These Nigerian coding kids have built a robot that folds clothes for you!
Fathia & Oluwatobiloba are 12-years old and use their skills to build robots that help with housework – which definitely ‘sparks joy’ in us! pic.twitter.com/xcr2Cqc1fn
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) May 13, 2019
Nigeria is a country with creative and talented go-getters. Young Nigerians have distinguished themselves in such fields as information technology, science, art, entertainment and lots more. Now, two Nigerian preteens are looking to take their own spot on the limelight by inventing an amazing technology that can be used as assistants in the home.
The kids, Oluwatobiloba Nsikakabasi Owolola and Fathia Abdullahi, successfully built the robots after just a year of learning how to code.
Owolola has been captivated by Lego robotics ever since he was a toddler. He was 10-years-old when he decided to quit merely watching others do cool stuff on TV and have a crack at it himself.
He would tinker with Lego pieces purely for his own amusement initially but things got even more interesting before long. He eventually took up coding and that opened him up to the idea of building something that would have some sort of impact in the everyday life of kids like himself.
Thus, Owolola built a robot which he calls the “robot grabber.” The robot functions as a help that moves things around the house. It is designed to restore order in the home by putting things taken out of position back in their rightful place.
In a video interview with the BBC, Owolola said: “This is the robot grabber, I programmed it to identify an object, grab it, and take it to another position.”
Abdullahi was 11-years-old when she had her first encounter with coding and robotics, and since then, she’s been on some kind of personal mission to turn her home into some sort of lair for mini-robots.
She had worked on several small projects with little success until she landed what could be described as her first big break which came in the form of a robot that handles the folding of laundry in her home – something that is a lot of work in her home given the sheer amount of clothes often left to her to fold after washing and drying.
“I decided to build a robot that folds clothes because that is the problem we have at home,” Abdullahi told the BBC. Her invention comes in handy as the robot is capable of making neat folds out of huge piles of laundry in no time at all.
These two Nigerian youngsters are the latest revelations from what appears to be a new league of African kids who are exhibiting sparks of brilliance in coding and robotics – fields that may have been once thought of as out-of-reach and above-pay-grade for some of these young lads.
Nowadays, coding schools and robotics academies for young, talented Africans are popping up from basically everywhere on the continent and even kids that are as young as five are beginning to take the initiative.
Uganda is home to a robotics school that is on the lookout for kids who are exploring ways to solve some of the immediate problems of their society with various kinds of machines, and Ghana has another that is pretty much existing for the same purpose.
Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, Togo, Cameroon, and Tanzania are some of the other African countries where the narrative has shifted from kids wanting to be the medical doctors or engineers of tomorrow to kids proving their mettle as the problem-solvers of today. And it does seem like the omens are good.
The BBC video has Owolola stating his interest in robotics engineering and how he would love to go all the way in the field. On her part, Abdullahi appears to be taken by the science of food and is willing to study along those lines.
At this point, we have no way of knowing if the kids will feel the same way in, say, the next five years, but we do know that they have it in them to take the world.