26 is an age several young men are captured by one fancy or another not necessarily in tune with destiny or simply groping their way through life. For Silas Adekunle, it is an age with a unique encounter with destiny as the young man has contrived to become the highest paid robotics engineer in the world after signing a lucrative deal with Apple.
Silas Adekunle already has plenty of robotic chops, being the creator of the world’s first gaming robots and founder/CEO of Reach Robotics. Adekunle was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and started his studies in his home country before heading over to the U.K. as a teenager to continue his schooling. After finishing secondary school, he went to the University of the West of England where he graduated with a first class graduate in Robotics.
While building his experience at Reach Robotics, founded in 2013, Adekunle became a team leader of the Robotics in Schools Program, a program designed to help students succeed in STEM. The interest in making STEM more exciting for students was part of the thought process behind Reach’s biggest project yet, MekaMon, the world’s first gaming robot. Notably, MekaMon had with the special ability to customize the gaming bot to perform personalized functions.
While Adekunle admits to getting some surprised responses when initially seeking funding to create MekaMon, he managed to sell 500 bots for a grand total of $7.5 million. With this type of success, it’s easy to see how he managed to get attention from Apple as well as many other organizations.
Adekunle is an example of the zenith of potential for young black people in the STEM fields, but one major advantage that he has that many other people don’t is the support and the means to pursue the schooling that allowed him to hone and refine his own natural talent and genius. Statistically, across the board, black people are still represented in the STEM fields, which is part of the reason that so many names are investing in initiatives to try and further STEM education across all different age groups and communities. Hopefully, Adekunle will be able to serve as an example for what happens if people with talent are given the right support.