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Here be robots: Dubai hosts first cybernetics event in region

The Robot Technology Exhibition pre-launch event was held at the Meydan yesterday

Asim Ikram, Middle East and Asia vice president of Blue Ocean Robotics and Romibo the robot.
Asim Ikram, Middle East and Asia vice president of Blue Ocean Robotics and Romibo the robot.

Yesterday saw the first robotics and automation event in the MENA region, held at the Meydan complex in Dubai.

The Robot Technology Exhibition, was a pre-launch event that featured a robotic competition sponsored by the University of Wollongong and aimed to promote the idea that "a future with robot technology will be a better and safer one for humanity".

GALLERY: Robots in Dubai

"The last five years have been very exciting for robotics in the UAE," said Golnaz van Huyssteen, operations manager, RTEX. "A host of new technologies have eased and simplified the day-to-day lives of residents. As the industry expands, it offers huge growth opportunities for local business to invest, innovate and drive advancement in the technologies of tomorrow.

"By bringing together local stakeholders from a cross-section of industries the RTEX conference aims to leverage the economic benefits that robots bring to any business and create local success stories to inspire and transform the region into a hub for robotics and automation development."

The conference included a talk by Mohammad Al-Shamsi, the founder of Emirates Robotics Club. Dr Nikolaos Mavridis, director of Interactive Robots and Media Lab discussed the growth of robotics in the region and Dr Claus Risager, partner and director of Blue Ocean Robotics, introduced delegates to the role and business potential of robotics in the UAE's education and healthcare sectors.

Speaking to ITP.net, Asim Ikram, Middle East and Asia vice president of Blue Ocean Robotics, which specialises in Social Robots for Autism, said: "These kinds of gadgets and tools are getting the kids interested in learning, so instead of the teachers standing in front of everyone and children not paying attention, children are responding to the Robots.  

GALLERY: Robots in Dubai

Now that we are partners with Knowledge Hub, we are hoping to bring the robots to the schools in the UAE."

RTEX is on at the Meydan from 28 to 30 September 2014.

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