Taking robotics to schools and varsities

Taking robotics to schools and varsities

Dubai - Armen Gharabegian, CEO and founder of ShadeCraft, said the focus will be on outdoor shading technologies.


Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:22 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Feb 2017, 10:25 PM

As part of '10X' initiative recently launched by the Dubai leadership, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) Holding signed an agreement on Tuesday with a US-based technology start-up to introduce robots in the city.
As a start, the US-based ShadeCraft will offer a series of training programmes to introduce the science of robotics to a select group of school and university students and relevant public and private entities, starting from the second quarter of the year.
Armen Gharabegian, CEO and founder of ShadeCraft, said the focus will be on outdoor shading technologies.
"In Dubai's hot climate, our current explorations is providing shading solutions that track the sun and provide shade to people accordingly," he said. The robotics company has recently designed Sunflower robot, a smart solar-powered umbrella with Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and built-in security camera. On command, the umbrella tracks the sun and moves around to protect users from light rays coming from specific directions.
Gharabegian noted that residents might be able to experience such robots by next year. He added that besides innovative shading systems, providing security to government agencies and adding solar-powered structures to bike paths will be other areas of concentration.
Saif Al Mansoori, general manager of MBRF Holding, investment arm of the MBRF, said the key objective is to pursue donors and funding partners to help implement projects pertaining to the field of robotics in the UAE.
"Robots have made their way into many vital sectors, such as industry, agriculture and medicine, among many others," said Al Mansoori.
He said the classes offered "will seek to build a qualified, future-ready national workforce that can use this new technology to its fullest potential to develop the UAE, find solutions to the challenges of the future, and improve the lives of people."
Gharabegian noted that the workshops will be a mix of industrial design and robotics to humanise the experience of robots and build the interaction. "It will be the next phase of learning," he said.
The 10X initiative, announced earlier this month, prompts government entities to come up with three ideas annually to make Dubai 10 years ahead of other countries.

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