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‘Emiratis are excited about robotics’

Robots - RTEX's theme chats with Mohammed Al Shamsi, founder of the Emirates Robotics Club, about the UAE’s robotics industry

May 18, 2014 5:50 by

Mohammad Al-Shamsi has been creating robots since 2007 and has won several competitions. He was ranked second in the UAE Innovation Challenge 2012 and has his own robotics company. One of his creations includes a device that can read brain signals, allowing a user to digitally control an object using his mind.


Why did you establish the Emirates Robotics Club?

To educate and build a society of robotics in the community. This is about how we can bring talents together and how we can work together to build something new for the world.

Is it only for the youth?

It’s for everyone.

What do people do in the club?

It’s a place where we gather. If you don’t have a space, it’s very hard to learn more and grow.

How do young Emiratis feel about the robotics industry?

Emiratis are very excited about robotics. Lately, they have started introducing it in schools. A lot of people are very interested, but they don’t have any background. We take them through training sessions so they at least know the basics. Then, they can select any project they are interested in and begin working on it.

It seems like an expensive hobby. Is that so?

Yes, it can be, but we try to take different ideas and be creative. We make robots as hobbies and [our club] is where people can come to enjoy learning more about it.

How much does it cost to build a robot?

It depends on the size of the robot. You can build a robot from AED200 to AED50,000.

Why are you so interested in robotics?

Robotics is not only cool, but it’s teaching me how to do a lot of things. It’s teaching me how to think, how to solve problems, to look around and see how the world works and how we can develop things and build a better life.

You mentioned that you’ve always wanted to do something good for your country. Do you believe you are achieving that goal?

I’m trying my best to do it. For me, building a new society and a group of robots in the UAE is my main goal.

Are there any real dangers involved with robotics?

If it’s dangerous, it’s not a robot. This is one of the rules of robotics. If it hurts people, it must not be released. They must go through safety processes and follow strict rules. We cannot take it to the people without thoroughly testing it.

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