Joshua Olaiya may not have the widely-respected acumen of German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, but here is a young man who is setting a path for himself as a genius to watch in the world of advanced tech. With no degree from Harvard or Oxford, the 18-year-old secondary school leaver and admission seeker has got his fancy in robotics and coding at a young age, producing a number of robots and drones.
Joshua told Legit.ng the motivation for robotic coding, and other interesting things about his area of interest.
1. Can we meet you, Joshua?
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My name is Joshua. I am an 18-year-old young Nigerian born and raised in Lagos state by my parents who are natives of Ondo state. I finished secondary school two years ago and still seeking admission. I'm both introvert and extrovert because all creative people are meant to be like that.
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2. You're into robotic coding, tell us about your journey; has it been rewarding?
The journey into the world of robotics began at the tender age of 13, but at age 15, I was able to discipline myself, work certainly 21 hours a day developing my skills through hard work, sheer grit and perseverance. I have been able to self-learn and master several programming languages and technological skill sets. At age 10, I was so fascinated with toys only due to their mechanism. Later on, I developed artistic skills, started a freelancing job and it contributed to my savings to get a laptop to age 11.
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Finally, at age 14, I bought a laptop with my saving along with help from my mom. My journey started here by learning how to use PowerPoint, Microsoft and CorelDRAW at the cyber cafe, but learning them looks easy so I stopped and decided to practice at home. It was good progress so I started using Microsoft and PowerPoint for my school assessment. I got into senior high school at age 14, I grew a vast interest in maths and physics due to a book (theory of relativity) I came across at the library. Reading the theory of relativity was very fictional by Sir Albert Einstein.
I had no choice but to tear off the page and further my readings at home. It was outstanding that I had to watch the entire life story of Albert Einstein and other great inventors like Nikola Telsa. This process made me very good in physics while studying and I was elected the president of Jet's club of the school. As the president, I got introduced to various programming languages by my teachers. I have to personally practice scratch, python, MIT app inventor etc for a competition in school because we had no one to train us. My teachers noticed I was capable and it was fantabulous that I brought back 3rd to the school. I was able to create my first game and first educational android app. I was super smart that I corrected my teachers in class, which I don't know was wrong then I started receiving names from my classmate and teachers ended up saying I was correct. I have always had the notion to compete with other big companies like Telsa by Elon musk etc
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It has been a tough journey for me that nobody can withstand as I kept on having a sleepless night, but I found it interesting and it was rewarding as I kept on developing myself.
3. What kind of robot have you made?
My first robot was building a self-driving robot. I had to pass through many failures until it worked. I have worked on a follow mobility robot, this type of robot follows the paths of any person, which can serve as a load carrier for people at the airport. I was able to build a hand gesture robot, this is a robot I controlled with my bare hands which impress thousands of people on social media and from the comments, they said it was an unknown invention in Africa. I also ended up building an RC plane that flies as the first builder into the aviation world.
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Currently working on an innovation that has ceased to exist to exist. I call it the WFHI robot, a Work From Home Industrial Robot that helps humans work from home either at the industry or restaurant no matter their distance using gesture technology, it serves as an upgraded demo of my previous gesture robot
4. How do you think robots can save stress, fight insecurity?
Robots can help save stress in several ways depending on how we view them. My WFHI robot can also help stress by working from home using gesture technology. I believe gesture technology is the only way we can save stress.
To fight insecurity, we need to change the way we use secure devices like drone because drones are already getting noticed by the criminal.
Advanced technology by transforming drones into robotic animals so as not to be easily recognised by criminals or anybody. Let's start by creating and deploying robotic birds, robotic spiders or robotic insects for our security system. This technology can provide 99% of the security we need.
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5. People often say robots will soon take human positions at different workplaces, what's your opinion on this?
Yes, no doubt about that. The robot will take a human position at their different workplaces. it is already happening and we art fast on it. But I believe implementing gesture technology on every robot out there can help increase job opportunities as we control all robots from our homes working at various jobs. Whatever path you have carried, the robot will follow that path. But the problem is increasing the distance frequency of the gesture technology which I'm still trying to sort out.
6. Tell us the process of robotic coding
Learning robotics is not easy. Only a dedicated person can achieve becoming a self-learnt robotic engineer along with serious hard work. I believe the process of robotics coding starts by reading a lot of books relating to that field as the theoretical aspect and watching YouTube videos as the practical aspect.
The internet is helping as there are millions of information you never believe they are. Time is very valuable, stop being patient and start asking yourself how do I accomplish my 10 years plan in 6 months?
7. You recently announced that you've been selected for a program based on robotics, what is it about?
Yes, I applied for the program and I got selected. It is a program called Google Africa developer scholarship where sponsored courses are given to us. It is a software development program and I applied to get more experience in software development as well. I love studying and reading what I love.
8. Tell us some interesting facts and secrets about robotics
Robots only do what they are programmed (algorithm) and they are machines designed in such a way they perform tasks without the help of a person. I believe the secret of robotics starts by getting an Arduino trainer kit which I will advise all parents to do because it is fun and educational. Imagine doing something yourself and it worked. That joy will be there for your children. As well as downloading some pdf books and watching a lot of YouTube videos help and it is not about watching YouTube videos only, it is about how you can combine ideas from YouTube to yours. Later on, if you seek help for correction, meet the experts.
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9. How do you think government can motivate genius people like you doing exceptional things?
Government can motivate us by giving us the required resources because people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are who they are today because of the available resources given to them at an early age in their country.
100% of creative minds like us lacks resources and we ended up like nobody. A lot of creative minds wants enough resources that could enable them to establish a fast-growing startup. I believe people like us have the mindset on the right product for the quick development of a startup.
My major aim is providing affordable electricity for all African nations, I believe I have a solution to that problem but I don't have the resource to test that out as a demo, this is typically an example. Resources motivate us to do more and better.