Nigerian Computer Scientist Giving Hope to Amputees

Dr. Oluwarotimi Samuel Nigerian Robotics and computer
Photo credit: SIAT-CAS

On this edition of Shinning the Spotlight, we are in China. A proper African and Nigerian is doing amazing stuff. See previous editions of Shinning the Spotlight.

Oluwarotimi Samuel, Robotics Expert creating solutions

Nigerian scientist and engineering researcher, Dr. Oluwarotimi Samuel is blazing the trail in an uncommon field. He is working to find a solution to amputees who lost their arm. This amazing research involves
developing a technology (both software and hardware) that gives them a better quality of life.

Oluwarotimi Samuel, an Associate Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems with the Center for Neural Engineering at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology. This is in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Academic Journey from Nigeria

Samuel bagged a BSc. in computer science with first-class honours. This stellar result was at Kogi State University in 2009. He studied further at Federal University of Technology, Akure. His brilliant performance continued thus he earned a MTech with distinction in 2014.

His master’s research focused on developing intelligent systems that could enhance the accuracy and speed of medical diagnoses.

From Nigeria to China, Still Shinning

In 2014, Dr. Samuel began a PhD at the University of Chinese Academy of Science, in Beijing. It was a great opportunity through CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship. This permitted full engagement in scientific research
and he obtained a PhD in pattern recognition and intelligent systems (2014–2017) under the supervision of Prof. Li Guanglin.

In his words, “This was one of the very first important steps that brought me where I am today.”

“I developed an efficient technique that allows the characterization of multiple patterns of limb movement intents in post-stroke patients, which could spur various potential advancements in the field”.

Developing a Robotic Prosthesis for Amputees

Based on the quality of work during his PhD, Dr. Samuel was appointed Associate Professor at the CAS-Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology.

He has created an effective technique for characterising diverse patterns of limb movement intents in post-stroke patients, which could lead to a variety of potential advances in the field.
His current research focuses on the biomechanics of upper extremity movement patterns derived from acquired bio-signals. This would aid in understanding how computer algorithms could best decode the underlying motor purpose. It would then be used to advance upper limb rehabilitation.

Developing rehabilitation robots—prosthesis is not an easy task. It demands thorough examination of the nature and state of amputees’ residual limb muscles in order to determine whether or not they can generate some myoelectric signals.

According to TWAS blog
Dr. Samuel explained that some amputees cannot perform certain limb movements such as raising an arm, even when the muscles are there. So, he develops prosthetic sockets that properly suit the amputee’s stump. Then, miniature sensors corresponding to specific regions of the residual muscles are placed inside the socket to record biological signals.

Achievements and Awards

In addition to graduating with a first class and distinction at bachelor’s and master’s degree, Dr. Samuel is a recipient of notable awards.

For his work on developing a prosthesis arm using AI, Dr. Samuel was listed among the “2022 Top 2% most cited scientists” by Stanford University. He has received the 2022 Personality of the Year Award from Pride of Africa. He also won the 2014 CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship. This allowed him to study for a PhD in China.

Postgraduate Nigeria celebrates this African shinning star. A role model, within and outside academia.

Photo credit: SIAT-CAS/



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