A Nigerian man based in Silicon Valley, Oshi Agabi, has created a computer based on mice neurons as against the popular silicon which is able to smell cancer cells and explosives.
The computer was unveiled at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.
According to the Nigerian man, the system has been trained to recognize the smell of explosives in bomb detection which means it could be used to replace the traditional airport security measures.
The modem sized device which was named Koniku Kore has also been hinted as a possible tool in facilitating the build of future robots with greater functionality.
Agabi has also been revealed to be further attempting to reverse-engineer biology, a concept which already accomplishes this function with a fraction of the power it would take a silicon-based processors.
Agabi launche his start-up, Koniku, over a year ago, and has since then raised $1m (£800,000) in funding.
He claims he has already made about $10m in profit from deals with the security industry.
The Koniku Kore is an amalgam of living neurons and silicon, fitted with olfactory capabilities.
He said: “You can give the neurons instructions about what to do – in our case we tell it to provide a receptor that can detect explosives.” He envisages a future where such devices can be discreetly used at various points in airports, eliminating the need for queues to get through airport security.
“As well as being used for bomb detection, the device could be used to detect illness by sensing markers of a disease in the air molecules that a patient gives off.”
Agabi, a self-described ‘scrawny, nerdy kid,” grew up in Lagos and speaking on his background said: “One of the things growing up in Lagos imparts in you is grit,” he says. “Lagos is a place that demands grit. Growing up there gave me an unconventional way of always looking at problems.”