Silas Adekunle - alumnus profile

Robotics alumnus Silas Adekunle is currently preparing to launch Mecha Monsters - the world’s first gaming robots. We caught up with the Founder and CEO of Reach Robotics to find out what inspired him to create these eerily lifelike, smartphone-controlled robots.

Piecing it all together

Silas

“As a kid, if I wasn't taking my sister's toys apart, I was looking at how spiders walked, freaky, I know. And as far back as I can remember; I have always been interested in how electronic and mechanical things work. Robotics was my opportunity to combine these interests.”

While studying at UWE Bristol, Silas came up with the idea for Reach Robotics. He was teaching maths and science in local schools on the university’s partnership scheme, and noticed how unpopular science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects were. Many schoolchildren didn’t plan on pursuing careers in these areas. So Silas decided to try and bring them on board by teaching robotics.

“Robotics ties in many aspect of STEM, and who doesn't like robots?”

Silas secured funding from Prince’s Trust and a partnership between UWE Bristol and HP. And before long, the Reach Robotics team were taking robots into schools to do demonstrations and teach schoolchildren how to create them. As well as inspiring thousands of schoolchildren over the four-year programme, Silas gained a lot from the experience.

Inspiring a generation

“Teaching others is very beneficial. You develop many skills such as effective communication and planning that later become useful in life. If you can stand in front of a class of noisy students, grab their attentions and teach them something, an interview with a prospective employer will be nothing.”

It also inspired the design of his Mecha Monsters, which incorporate simple developer software, making it easy for less experienced developers to programme new tricks for their Mecha Monster.

“A good product should have an educational element – that’s how interest starts in children. I wanted to create a fun product which sparks inquisitiveness.​”

Making a dream come true

Now Silas works alongside three experienced team members with specialisms in mechanical, manufacturing and robotics engineering.

Explaining his approach to life, Silas says, "the hardest step is believing in yourself and being willing to try and make your dream come true, regardless of how challenging it may seem. When you do something you're truly passionate about, it's infectious and you'll meet great people along the way to support you throughout your journey. The cliche but true advice: do what you love, don't be afraid of failure and finally work very hard!”

He also tweeted: “Also, don't be afraid to ask for help when needed! We've had a lot from @UWEBristol and the BRL along with so many others!” @ReachRobotics

Are you a UWE Bristol graduate with a ground-breaking new invention you’d like to share? Get in touch.

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