From delivery drones to electric cargo vans and an app that detects asphyxia in newborns, the Future Throttle event hosted by Rosenics Technologies on Friday, July 31 2021, unveiled innovative solutions by Africans for Africa.
Rosenics Technologies is a Nigerian-based startup that uses deep technology to create products and innovations to help other businesses scale. The company is currently focused on creating drones for logistics applications.
The event was also backed by US-based fintech company Betascale, and Ukraine-based remittance company, Brownpay.
Ugi Augustine Ugi, CEO of Nugitech, an ICT solutions company, in his opening remark said, the Future Throttle event is to showcase and discuss how technology can be advanced in Africa. “Basically how we can drive deep tech and the policies that are drawing backwards. Nigeria is filled with a lot of talent, people that have the passion to innovate.”
He adds that events like Future Throttle set in motion the possibility for Nigeria and Africa at large, to harness the talents it has and begin to export world-class tech that improves the economy.
Logistics and the power of deep tech
“Technology is the past, present and the future.” The words of David Edet, director at Rosenics Technologies as he presented the importance of deep technologies and why they’re at the core of technological innovations.
Deep technology companies, according to Edet, create technological products that are not end-user based. From drones to quantum computing, biotech and Blockchain, deep tech solves complex problems.
While a lot of technologies today cater to the end-consumer, deep technologies are not everyday technological products. For example, “a new device that detects cancer cells.”
However, scaling deep technologies are exceedingly challenging. Edet points out that deep tech is often hardware-based. As opposed to software, creating hardware products come with unique challenges. Moving is difficult, from the idea stage to the actual product.
In addition to the difficulty that comes with moving, funding is a challenge that rocks the deep tech space. Edet admits that while a lot of funding is going into the space, it’s still not enough.
Powering logistics and transportation with deep tech.
Reiterating the words of Sandra Bakare, Co-founder of Rosenics Technologies, Edet says transportation is the future and deep tech will be a game-changer in the industry. There is always a constant need to move, people or goods, moving is a must.
“The drive to increase competitive advantage and increase delivery speed is leading to numerous breakthroughs in logistics technology”
Rosenics Technologies is at the forefront of these numerous breakthroughs using drones to circumvent the challenges that come with logistics in Africa.
Edet states that drone tech has evolved beyond a tool for warfare and has been reimagined by innovators to bring ease to logistics. “If drones can be used in warfare it can be used in other things from retails and even delivery”
He highlighted security as a major hurdle to logistics, one which drones can scale with ease. The fear of delivering goods to some insecure parts of the country can be alleviated with drones.
“For us to be able to navigate the logistics sector, even with the insecurity challenges that plague us, we have to look at using drones, to deliver what we want”
He admits, however, that while drones might not be able to deliver heavy equipment, drones can play a significant role in delivering essentials like clothes, food and medicines.
Hard-to-reach areas and the eCommerce sector can also benefit from drones. Edet describes a scenario where Konga and Jumia parcels are delivered via drones, speeding up the delivery process.
Drones could someday become an indispensable part of logistics, giving Africa’s eCommerce an extra edge to reach unimaginable heights.
The close of David Edet’s presentation opened the floor for startups to share amazing tech products.
JET Motors opened the Demo Sessions with a presentation by Rupani Sanjay, Director of Sales and Marketing and Ebuka Uchendu, Technical Lead at JET EV. The duo gave a breakdown of the JET electric vehicles (EV) and the tremendous impact they will have on transportation in Africa.
In the words of Sanjay, JET Motors is “accelerating Africa’s dominance in the future of mobility.” Incorporated in 2018, the company is creating high-quality mass transit vehicles for 96% of Nigeria’s population, dependent on road transport.
The JET EV not only serves Nigerians with good quality road transport but also eliminates high maintenance and petrol costs. Uchendu in his technical rundown of the JET EV says it has the best batteries for electric vehicles with a capacity of 107.6kwh giving the vehicle a driving range of 250km.
The EV not only saves cost on maintenance but plays a vital role in saving the environment with no carbon emissions.
Innocent Udeogu presented AI-powered Ubenwa, an app that gives hope to newborns.
Ubenwa wants to save newborn babies from asphyxia, a condition which according to Udeogu claims the life of 1.2million infants annually.
He points out that the killer condition can be detected by a machine so expensive hospitals in Nigeria can barely afford it. The lack of high-end machines invariably causes mothers to mourn their newborns.
Asphyxia makes it difficult for babies to establish proper respiration at birth.
The Ubenwa app proffers a simple but brilliant solution for this condition. The AI-powered app detects asphyxia by listening to the baby’s cry.
Translated as the cry of a baby in the Igbo language, Ubenwa is creating hope for babies one tear at a time.
While Ubenwa saves babies from asphyxia, Endurance Agbor introduces Lawyerpp, which saves from injustice.
Lawyerpp is an app that helps lawyers run virtual law firms and perhaps helps people find a lawyer to represent them when they need one.
However, one of the most interesting and perhaps most important features of the app is its panic button. The button alerts friends, families and even individual lawyers when they get in trouble.
In addition, it has a widget that constantly provides the person’s location and audio of the environment.
The app's importance came to light when individuals recommended the app on social media before the protests on June 12, 2021.
Agbor says in Nigeria, there are several scenarios where Lawyerpp could be a saving grace.
Femi Oye presented OneWattSolar, a company collaborating with several companies to deliver renewable energy to every part of Africa.
Interestingly, the company is using Blockchain technology, to build software that can aggravate and enable scalability in power delivery.
According to Oye, OnewattSolar is “approaching Africa’s power problem with an Africa made solution.”
The company has launched two products, Chioma and Kike, software and hardware products that help users monitor their energy consumption in real-time.
Meanwhile, Kenechuckwu Osuji, an attorney at Jaden Attorneys discussed setting up a business and the legal steps to take after the demo session.
Osuji explains the different options to consider for business incorporation so as not to flout the law.
He reiterates his passion for working and doing business in Nigeria in the panel session, saying he’s more relevant in the country.
Udeogu like Osuji would not have his business anywhere else. However, Ugi and Agbor had reservations about conducting business in Nigeria. From security to regulations both weren’t as enthusiastic in rubbing a business in Nigeria.
On a final note by Augustine Francis, Founder of Rosenics Technologies says Nigeria and Africa at large is scratching the surface when it comes to deep tech and Blockchain.
While Rosenics Technologies is a drone capable of delivering items, Augustine believes that what matters most is the business structure behind the product.
“With the plans we’ve set up for the next couple of months, making some of our technology open-source, creating a community around those technologies, having the right relationship with regulators, having the right cashflow, we strongly believe that there is going to be a bigger deployment,” he says.
Augustine reiterates that drone logistics is one of the plans his company has for Nigeria, with a focus on the fashion, food and retail industry.
“The pride isn’t in creating drones that fly, the goal is the business execution strategy.”
In the next few months, we might just see our pizza delivered by drone.v