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Nigeria’s robotics engineer Adekunle shuts down business

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Nigeria-born Silas Adekunle has shut down Reach Robotics, the Bristol, United Kingdom-based consumer robotics company, that he co-founded a few years ago. He said he’s going to focus on new things.

Adekunle made the announcement on LinkedIn. One of the Co-founders John Rees confirmed that “the decision has been made to close the business and appoint administrators, effective as of 02/09/2019,” according to a report by therobotreport.com

Reach Robotics raised a total of $7.8 million, according to Crunchbase. It launched its MekaMon gaming robots in late 2016 that combines augmented reality (AR) and a four-legged toy robot, with Apple reaching a deal to sell the robot in all its stores in the UK and United States.

Version 2 of MekaMon was launched 10 months ago.

In a post called “Reach Robotics – End of the Road,” Adekunle mentioned the “consumer robotics sector is an inherently challenging space – especially for a start-up.”

Below is Adekunle’s LinkedIn post reprinted in its entirety:

Unfortunately, for Reach Robotics, in its current form at least, today marks the end of that journey.

“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. Since founding Reach Robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, we made huge strides in our technology both in terms of our hardware and app development. We took MekaMon from prototype to market, introduce the world to the first gaming robot with seamless AR integration, launched in dozens of territories and developed a unique education offering that will live on through many initiatives.

“This simply could not have happened without the highly skilled and creative people that have been part of the Reach Robotics journey. I speak for myself and my fellow co-founders Chris Beck and John Rees when I say it has been a privilege and we have no doubt that they will continue to innovate and enrich the sector. Personally, I am grateful for the experience, lessons learnt, the connections and the opportunity to inspire young people from under-represented backgrounds in STEM and entrepreneurship.

“I am thankful to everyone who has been a part of this journey, from my co-founders Chris and John, who have been there through thick and thin, to members of the management team who were supportive in the most difficult of times, Jonathan Quinn, Kathryn Green, Philip Green just to name a few.

“Thank you to all of our investors, advisers, mentors, family and friends over the years. Special thanks to UWE, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Pervasive Media Studio, SetSquared and so many others who have supported our growth. Reach Robotics began with the vision of creating advanced and accessible robotics to entertain, inspire and educate. I hope to carry that vision forward into the future.

“Following some travel and much needed rest, the journey will continue in the Non consumer Robotics sector and the STEAM Education sector.”

The Times, a British newspaper, reported in July 2019 that Reach Robotics was cash-strapped.

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The report said,

“It is under pressure from a creditor and is looking for investment or a sale to stave off collapse. Reach filed a notice of its intention to appoint an administrator last week, giving it 10 working days to settle its debts. It has been laying off some of its 30 staff.”

Adekunle fired back, however, telling BusinessCloud, “sometimes you file to give yourself just enough time to settle creditors so you’re not forced into liquidation where the assets then become at risk.”

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The report added that Reach Robotics was in “due diligence discussions for acquisition as it repositions itself from a consumer-facing robotics firm to one with education at its core.”

Reach Robotics launched a division in May 2019 aimed at the STEM education sector called ReachEdu. It is unclear if ReachEdu will continue as a business unit.

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COVID-19: Enugu govt. decontaminates Ogbete Main Market

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The Enugu State Fire Service has commenced the decontamination and fumigation of Ogbete Main Market, Enugu, against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing newsmen during the exercise on Saturday, the state’s Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Okwudiri Ohaa, said that the exercise would last until Sunday.

It would be recalled that the state fire service carried out the first phase of the exercise in the market on April 1, shortly after the market was shut down by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

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During the first phase of the decontamination of the market, the exercise was monitored by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and heads of security agencies in the state.

Ohaa said that the state government had been consistent with the exercise to ensure that “the fight against COVID-19 is won in Enugu State”.

He maintained that the decontamination would be a continuous one, saying that “when the market reopens, it will be a weekly event’’.

He advised residents to continue to adhere strictly to all precautionary measures for containment of COVID-19.

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Ohaa said the guidelines on personal hygiene protocol by World Health Organisation (WHO) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), among others, should be adhered to.

Reacting on behalf of the traders in the market, the Chief Security Officer, Mr. Justus Ezebinagu, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the initiative to decontaminate the market for the second time.

Ezebinagu gave an assurance that the traders would comply strictly with the government’s precautionary measures as well as the laid-down protocols by WHO and NCDC.

“When we were told that the governor directed the fire service to come and fumigate the market, the traders were happy because this is the second time they are coming to fumigate the market since this pandemic started.

“We thank our amiable governor for coming to our aid. We are happy.

“Even though the market is partially open for now, we believe that our governor is going to do more in our collective interest,’’ he said.

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Buhari‘s nephew, Ibrahim Dauda, dies in Daura

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Ibrahim Dauda, a nephew to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is dead.

Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Dauda died on Saturday in Daura, Katsina State, following a prolonged illness.

In a condolence message, Buhari was quoted as saying the death had robbed the family and the Daura community of one of its finest gentlemen.

“I am deeply touched and devastated by the passing of yet another family member, a man who had demonstrated amazing kindness and honesty in all his dealings.

“The deceased is survived by a number of children, including Dauda Ibrahim, a Chief Administrative Officer in State House, Abuja,” the President said.

He prayed to God to forgive the soul of the deceased and reward his deeds.

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Four die in Ogun multiple accidents

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Four persons were confirmed dead, while six others sustained various degrees of injuries in three separate accidents that occurred at different locations in Ogun State on Friday.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Ogun State sector command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

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The statement signed by Florence Okpe, FRSC Public Education Officer Ogun State Sector Command disclosed that a total of three road crashes were recorded on Friday in the state.

Okpe said, “the first crash occurred at about 10:30 in the morning along the Abeokuta – Sagamu route around Showo village.

“Two vehicles were involved with registration numbers AKM125AA, a MAZDA bus, and the second vehicle is with registration number KRD34CW a KIA bus “.

“A total of five persons were involved, all-male adult. Three persons sustained injuries but no death was recorded from the crash”.

“The suspected causes of the crash were tyre burst and excessive speed. The Injured were rescued to the Hospital”.

Okpe said, “the second crash occurred at about 1330HRS along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway around Arepo bus stop”.

” Three persons were involved, all male adults. Two persons sustained injuries, while one death was recorded from the crash”.

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