Latifa Al Hamadi with Rabdan, the robot she made to serve humanity, at a ceremony in Dubai to celebrate Emirati Talent Day
Latifa Al Hamadi with Rabdan, the robot she made to serve humanity, at a ceremony in Dubai to celebrate Emirati Talent Day Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: From crafting on the sand and developing video games to building a robot using 3D printing, UAE nationals gathered in Dubai to celebrate Emirati Talent Day on Monday.

Under the patronage of Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Emirates Association for the Talented, a group of Emiratis showcased their creative innovations during a gathering held in Dubai on Monday at Plazzo Versace.

Latifa Al Hamadi spent three years creating a robot called ‘Rabdan’ that can interact with humans through microphones and give answers about locations and other inquiries. Latifa is a design and technology teacher at Al Sila school in Abu Dhabi, and has a bachelor’s degree from Zayed University in Networks Security and a master’s degree in Information Technology.

“The world is heading towards having smart solutions for the benefit of humanity. I have a passion for robots and artificial intelligence and wanted to be part of this development, so I decided to build a robot that can serve mankind,” Latifa told Gulf News. “I used a 3D printer at my home to build the pieces and assemble them to create Rabdan.”

The 1.8m tall robot has movement sensors, 33 engines, and two cameras as the robot’s eyes. “The smallest part took me 30 minutes to build using the 3D printer. The biggest part took me three days to build it.”

Latifa said she had no experience in building robots but she taught herself about different sectors to build Rabdan. “I damaged and burned many engines and spent three years until I finally completed Rabdan,” she added.

Ceremony recognises talent

Latifa and other talented Emiratis were recognised during a ceremony on Monday. Lt Gen Khalfan said the association picked the birthday of UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, as a day to celebrate talented Emiratis.

NAT DAHI 2-1653920055805
Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim addressing the gathering Image Credit: Supplied

“This day is special for Emiratis. We decided to choose this day to celebrate talented Emiratis as Sheikh Zayed was the first supporter of his sons and daughters. We formulated a national strategy to support talented Emiratis in different sectors for the development of the UAE,” added Lt Gen Khalfan in his speech at the ceremony.

Games with a message

Another talented Emirati, Haroon Al Mansouri, recalled how his passion for video games led him to launch a gaming company called ‘Kashkool’. He wanted to create video games showing the culture of the UAE and the Gulf region, to deliver a message to the younger generation.

“I have had a passion for video games since I was a child. I started developing games as a hobby. We are launching a new game called ‘Sheba: A New Dawn’. It was inspired by the region’s culture and civilisation. With many youngsters having a great interest in video games, I felt that we can make games to raise awareness of our culture,” said Al Mansouri.

New dental procedure

Meanwhile, Dr Wafa’ Al Booloshi, an Emirati dentist has two innovations in her sector that uses new technology to extract the teeth “without pain”.

“The device changes the blood temperature for the easiest way to cut the periodontal ligament between the tooth and the jaw in less time and pain,” she said.

The recovery process is also easy through the device as it uses a small amount of anaesthetic and protects the jaw.

Sand art

At the end of the ceremony, Emirati Shayma Al Mughairy showed her skills in drawing sand art in sync with music, moving with speed, and drawing cheers from the crowds.

Through her art, she created a tale of Emiratis learning in the past and how they transferred and kept learning these days. She finished the drawing with a picture of Sheikh Zayed.

Other Emirati talents

Saeed Al Khouri, presented his innovation of UAE’s “first natural sustainable skincare from an outdoor living laboratory”, called De L’Arta at Masdar City. He made different face creams and skincare products from plants in the desert.

NAT GROUP 1-1653920057583
The talented UAE nationals were honoured during the ceremony Image Credit: Supplied

“The De L’Arta Urban Farm is based in one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. It is currently home to our composting facility and where the key ingredients for our skincare products are grown. Our farm currently grows desert crops - edible and non-edible - as well as an inter-cropping of desert plants with edible plants,” he said.

He added that the team extracts natural ingredients from plants grown at the farm. The extractions from these plants are then used directly in De L’Arta’s product lines, the first of which is a collection in skincare.

Meanwhile, Latifa bint Kitla presented her talent in drawing comics. She was part of a young Emirati team that made a motion comic (November 30: Tunb battle) that recognises Commemoration Day.

The motion comic tells the story of the first Emirati martyr, Salem Suhail bin Khamis, who sacrificed himself in the defence of his nation. He was martyred by Iranian forces that occupied the Greater Tunb island.