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Dubai students invent robot that can disarm explosives in war zones

Robosafe can also use artificial intelligence to carry objects around unsafe sites, recognize faces



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 13 May 2022, 1:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 May 2022, 10:26 PM

A group of university students in the UAE have developed an autonomous robotic device that can disarm explosives.

Students from Canadian University Dubai (CUD) have developed a high-tech, safe, and cost-effective solution to neutralize hazardous environments.

Robosafe uses artificial intelligence to mimic the natural movement of a four-legged animal and can deactivate bombs and mines in war zones, carry objects around unsafe sites, and recognize faces to monitor suspicious activity.

As part of the competition, three students from the University's Faculty of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology were tasked with developing a business plan to demonstrate how they would turn their innovation into a viable enterprise.

"Accessing dangerous areas such as mines, collision sites, explosive sites, and areas affected by radioactivity is a major challenge. Companies and employees working in these hazardous environments are putting their health at risk, which could ultimately lead to major legal cases," said Mohammad Faieq, a mechatronics engineering student at CUD.

"While employers may consider the use of robots to replace their employees, problems arise when they develop devices that lack the modifications required to fit their needs, and costs can escalate quickly."

Mohammad and his team members bagged first place in the U-Start enterprise competition, recently held at the Innovation Arabia 15 Conference and Exhibition.

"Our aim is to provide cost-effective industrial robots to help companies cut expenditure and increase productivity. Robosafe is a low-cost product with a futuristic and innovative design based on an open-source platform. It is made using modular technology that will allow it to be fully customized to meet different client needs," said another member of the winning team, Issraa Ben Mnaouer.

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Other participants say the invention also aimed to provide support to bomb technicians and create a cost-effective commercial plan while ensuring that they use revolutionary technology in solving emerging threats.

"The competition required us to focus on the business as well as the technology side of innovation. In addition to developing a prototype, we had to conduct a competitor analysis, develop a marketing plan, and produce a cost-benefit analysis, which gave us real-world experience of some key business disciples," says Hajer Ben Mnaouer.

"Entrepreneurship is embedded in the curriculum at CUD, and we are delighted to see students putting into practice what they learn through competitions like U-Smart," says Assistant Professor Dr Ahmed Al-Gindy, who supervised the students during the project as part of their course.

"Our goal in the enterprise courses is to enable students to test the feasibility of their ideas and bring their innovations to life. The team's success in this competition demonstrates that their studies have prepared them well to be the innovators and entrepreneurs of the future."


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