Dubai aims to become one of the smartest cities in the world, shaping its future with technology, and robots are quickly becoming an important part of daily life in the city. Robot science is already affecting many vital sectors in the UAE, from manufacturing to surgery, security, and deliveries. Dubai Future Labs Director, Khalifa Al Kama, said that “Dubai started this journey 20 years ago by providing digital services to enhance the comfort of its residents. We can now benefit from robots to offer some services for the society or to enhance the efficiency of other government initiatives.”
The healthcare sector is one of the sectors that highly benefits from robotics as it provides primary care. Dr. Yaser Saedi, Robotic Surgeon and Urology Consultant, is the first doctor in the UAE to specialize in robotic surgery. He currently uses the fourth-generation robotic system developed by NASA, Da Vinci Xi, which is considered the most advanced system available. Dr. Yaser says that technology helps surgeons perform complex procedures, reduces the invasiveness of surgery and allows finer adjustments in robotic arms. According to him, “the advantages of laparoscopic and robotic surgery over classical surgery are diminishing. Less blood loss, better results, faster healing, and all such factors are improved with robotic systems. Therefore, laparoscopic surgery is naturally evolving towards robotic surgery, and most surgeons are gradually shifting towards it.”
DG World, an artificial intelligence and digitization company, offers industrial automation, advanced transportation solutions, and robotic products. The company is developing autonomous vehicles, small delivery vehicles, and robotic arms as the industrial sector transitions to autonomous systems. Boston Dynamic’s autonomous robot dog examines high-risk areas like crime scenes to collect data.
Matthias Krause, CEO of DG World, said: “the benefits of robotic technology, especially Boston Dynamic’s robot dogs, have significantly increased. We have received interest from nuclear power plant officials. You don’t want to expose people to radiation. Every day, we monitor and understand radiation levels.” They are also investigating how to use these robots in different civilian tasks. They have been in contact with Dubai Customs, which requires advanced and repetitive monitoring of sites. Many of these applications come from their customers.
Arious Holding’s Singularous project takes robotics and artificial intelligence to the next level, moving beyond the smart city concept to create the world’s first conscious city. The group is helping design and develop the first conscious city that thinks for itself and is committed to redefining how communities are built. Singularious President and Eltizam Group CEO, Chris Roberts, explained that “we want to create new cities for the future. Cities are no longer about traditional buildings, but they are based on artificial intelligence. A conscious city thinks for itself. This is a city. This lifestyle will have a significant impact on how we protect and manage cities in the future.”
Dr. Ben Goertzel, Singularity CEO and Chief Scientist, helped create human-like social robot Sofia, music robot Desdemona, and health robot Grace. He said that “what is generally considered smart cities is actually a collection of smart devices performing specific tasks, not a unified cognitive system. The fundamental aim of a smart city is to achieve urban-level intelligence, which serves humans.” Dr. Goertzel expects artificial intelligence with human-like capabilities to move from the research lab to universal application in the next 3-4 years. He also believes that sharing our daily lives with humanoid robots is a natural way to adapt, and AI systems behind the scenes will become a more natural way to interact with our devices instead of typing or speaking on the phone, Alexa, or other platforms.