Emirati pupil scoops international awards for robot design that helps elderly

Doctor Robot has won awards locally and internationally

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A young designer from Sharjah has scooped multiple awards for his "Doctor Robot" creation that helps the elderly and disabled keep in contact with their physicians.

Ali Humaid Al Loughani, 12, a pupil at Sharjah’s American School of Creative Science, said he developed the robot to help reduce the need for patients to visit their doctor regularly.

“Doctor Robot relies on the Internet of Things to provide medical consultations and round-the-clock patient monitoring."

The robot's cables, when attached to a patient's body, can read and record their vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.

“This data is then transmitted and stored securely in the cloud and is accessible to doctors through a dedicated website I built,” he explained to The National.

Doctors can access this website anytime for an update on their patients' health conditions and can also receive alerts in cases of emergency.

“It also helps reduce costs due to repeated hospital visits," he added.

The 12-year-old started building the Doctor Robot in 2021 and completed its construction in a year.

The robot's cables connect to a person's vital signs. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National

Ali won a host of awards at the 34th International Invention, Innovation and Technology exhibition in Malaysia.

Competing against 700 participants from 19 countries, the robot won first place in the medical field category and second place in the young innovator category.

The project also received awards at the 14th Arab Robotics Championship and the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Festival in the UAE.

His mother, Sheikha Al Naqabi, said Ali has been showing signs of his creative brilliance from a very young age.

“He would dismantle his toys and rebuild them and even assist his father in fixing broken household items,” Ms Al Naqabi said.

Seeing his potential, Ali's family encouraged his interests by enrolling him in several science camps across the country, including those organised by Adnoc in Abu Dhabi, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Emirates Science Club in Dubai.

However, Ali's curiosity did not stop at the camps and he continuously researched and viewed videos on several topics and on how to build things, especially robots.

“He is fond of mathematics too and has been an active participant in Smart Brain competitions,” Ms Al Naqabi said.

“Ali also authored two books which were showcased in Abu Dhabi’s international book fair.”

One book released in 2022 in English is titled "Giving Without Limit” and the other written in Arabic in 2021 is named “Manee and the Stars".

Ms Al Naqabi said Ali is also a member of the Sharjah Children Shura Council, the Dubai Police’s safety ambassadors programme. He has actively participated in volunteering campaigns organised by the Red Crescent and the Sharjah Volunteering Centre.

His mother said Ali maintains a near-perfect average in school and his three younger siblings look up to him and call him their hero.

"They are motivated by what he does and try to copy him," she said.

Future plans

Science and maths are not Ali’s only passions. He loves swimming, basketball, and recently took up drawing.

“He made the most of his time at home during the Covid-19 pandemic to learn from online resources,” his mother said.

Ali said he has future plans to upgrade the robot to be able to administer injections and provide oxygen to patients who need it.

Updated: May 29, 2023, 1:53 PM