As the robotics industry market size globally has been showing steady growth over the last few years the UAE sees tremendous opportunity in becoming one of the key players in it. That was announced at the first Roboday event, which took place at the Dubai Silicon Oasis, sparking significant interest from the government in creating a robotics hub that will be recognized both domestically and internationally.
Roboday was created with the high support of the government represented by Dtec and Dubai Future Labs, as well as established Dubai-based robotics and automation businesses. For the first time, it brought together leading companies and organizations in the robotics field to discuss the latest advancements and future opportunities. Among the attendees were Robosculptor, Creative Machine Learning Technologies, FIBBEE, Micropolis Robotics, T.Park IT, Z-Strategi & Co, Ennovatrix, Peppermint Robotics, Jacky’s Business Solutions, Drone Center, and many others.
As Denis Ledenkoff, CEO and founder of Robosculptor, highlighted, “The possibilities are exciting. Take for example the drone industry and let’s see how much it has developed in the last couple of years. So we are beginning to see robotics become an integral part of life. It’s making a difference, saving lives, creating an entire infrastructure.”
Runal Dahiwade, the founder of Peppermint Robotics, said, “Robots play a huge role in changing the way we perceive and execute services in the region. First of all, they increase availability, productivity, and accountability. They also reduce the costs of training, supervision, and management. For example, services like toilet cleaning are fairly tedious to manage. We are aiming to solve this problem with highly intelligent robots able to execute work efficiently but in a very cost-effective manner. Such services are also laborious and cause physical fatigue, which doesn’t apply to robots as they don’t get tired or need days off. Peppermint is excited and ready to collaborate, and start deploying these robots in the UAE.”
The event also highlighted how important it is to develop a clear vision for the robotics industry and the steps needed to achieve this goal. Businesses, associations, and the government should work together to accelerate this growth further. “The market potential is very high. In Dubai Silicon Oasis, we are planning to build a full ecosystem for robotics, consisting of international companies, startups, and students. In this environment, they will be able to participate in specialized events, create new ideas, and tackle challenges. For this vision to come into reality, we need support from the decision-maker to enable the required labs. We can also partner with universities to provide access to their facilities. This is our first initiative to build the robotics ecosystem within Dubai,” said Ghanim Alfalasi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Silicon Oasis.
The panelists also highlighted common challenges in the robotics industry, which include, among others:
- High costs of robotics development;
- Misperception of robots, misunderstanding the purpose of their creation on all levels (from consumers to developers)
- Lack of a clear strategy from the authorities and a standardization process for robotics development.
All of these aspects are critical. “Creating robots can often lead to misconceptions and a lack of understanding about their true purpose. However, Dubai has the technology and talent to adapt quickly and take a holistic approach to prepare a strategy for the robotics industry. We will strive to move forward as efficiently as possible,” said Ghanim Alfalasi, Senior Vice President of Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dr. Slim Saidi, CEO of Z-Strategi, consultant, strategist, futurist, and AI, added, “The UAE is perfect because you can find a solution to a problem through regulation and approval from the highest authorities in a blink of an eye. It’s the community that matters. But we still need to create an infrastructure that allows manufacturers in the UAE to reduce costs and acquire new skills. I think, to do that, we will need a sandbox to test innovations.”
Supporting the government’s vision for the development of robotics as one of the key technological sectors in the UAE, the creation of the UAE Robotics Council Association allows to consolidate the industry’s efforts to effectively drive growth in the country. The Association is aiming to promote the development and use of robotics technology in the country and together with its associated members look for ways to create and build a world-class robotics hub in the UAE.
In 2023 global market players are planning to invest billions more in developing and implementing robotics technology. However, as Robosculptor CEO and Co-Founder Denis Ledenkoff, added, “Nobody will invest in something that doesn’t bring money. So it needs to be worth investing in, which requires time, money, and other resources. We need a critical mass of interested companies and residences that can reach financial success in the future.”