The use of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) was on creative display this week, when Studio 24 one of the leading digital photography companies in Nigeria launched a Robotic photographer named Grace, in a bid to disrupt the photography industry.
Ifeanyi Oputa CEO of Studio 24 noted at the launch, that digitalization and artificial intelligence are the future and have to be embraced, thus, informing the company’s decision to acquire the new pricey robots, even though actual costs were not disclosed.
“Although it has been launched in other countries, this is the first of its kind in Africa and Studio 24 is changing the narrative in the industry,” he said.
Built with a canon digital 1300D which is a standard digital SLR, “Grace” has the ability to take thousands of photographs within its operational hours, and is also able to either print or send pictures taken.
With an attached printer, “Grace” can produce 1000 pictures in 4 hours and has the ability to use more than one printer whenever it is necessary.
Speaking on the challenges involved in the innovation, Oputa described meeting market demand as one of the major challenges because the robot is hand built and customized, adding that each component unit of the robot takes 8-12 weeks to be coupled.
Five units of the robot are said to be available in Nigeria and will be in different parts of the county including Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt. While other robots are being built, Grace will be available to the public on rental conditions with a minder.
It was also revealed that the robot was named Grace after the first pioneer manager of Studio 24 in Kaduna, Grace Ufot who died in 2015. The company’s CEO explained that the use of a female for the robot is part of Studio 24’s efforts in encouraging female photographers, also adding that the robot will be the brand ambassador for the female photographers’ team.
He stressed, however, that while the robot will complement the services of a photographer, it will not take over the role of photographers because it is a robot and does not have a human angle to it especially in client relationships.