The drones, developed by a team coordinated by Prof. Sulyman AbdulKareem of the Department of Chemical Engineering, added colours to the just concluded 40th anniversary/31st convocation ceremonies of the University.
Other members of the Unilorin Drone Team include Dr. M.T. Yakubu of the Department of Biochemistry; Dr Babalola of the Department of Physics; Engineer Eric and Mr. Ahmed, both of the Department Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
In separate interviews with Unilorin Bulletin last Thursday (November 12, 2015), the Co-ordinator of the team, Prof. AbdulKareem, and another key member of the team, Dr. Yakubu, said that drones can be used to monitor the conduct of examinations in future as well as general campus surveillance in conjunction with the security personnel”.
According to Prof. AbdulKareem, “the use of drones has come to stay because where you don’t want to endanger human life, a machine, which a drone is, can go there and still get the information you need”. He pointed out that “drones, rather than infringing on human rights, actually protect human rights because the man who wants to do evil and knows that a machine can remotely capture his act, will not likely do it”.
The Unilorin Drone Team Coordinator, who is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, disclosed that some academic departments in the University have started showing interest in the use of the drone. He said, “I believe that apart from giving practical knowledge to those in Geography, Electrical Engineering and Physics, virtually any Department that may have a reason to capture events beyond what is in front of the camera, which has to be aerially covered, can use the drone.”
Prof. AbdulKareem urged the University administration to challenge people to do more “because there are lots of students who are eager to learn and who have ideas that they can put into practice if they have good supervision. He said, “I believe it is a matter of encouragement. Most Nigerian universities should be able to do wonderful things and make major breakthroughs”, noting that some students were co-opted into the team to learn how to operate or fly the drones.
The Drone Team Coordinator enjoined the newly appointed ministers especially for the areas of science and technology, “to see a need for us to self-develop, self-evolve, and self-emancipate as a nation”. He said, “For a long time now, we have relied on personnel from foreign countries to bail us out of every technical problem we get into, but the issue is that, we have so many Nigerians that are trained abroad that are here and even those who have not left the country that are equally talented that should be encouraged to do wonderful things for the nation.”
Prof. AbdulKareem maintained that the new ministers “should see their appointments as a chance of working with the academics in the educational institutions to promote what will be good for the nation, to make the nation as a whole self-reliant on personnel that are available locally.”
In the same vein, Dr. Yakubu said, “We can also use the drone to monitor what is happening on our borders; we have a very vast amount of land, and we can use it to track activities that are going on there. Invariably, we can use the drones to cover the entire University and in getting information to the appropriate quarters. ”