Ibn Sina Robot

Ibn Sina Robot

Say salam wa aleikum to an Arabic-speaking android developed at United Arab Emirates University and billed as the first of its kind in the world. It could enter mass production to help people at shopping malls. Software for Ibn Sina was developed by a team led by computer science assistant professor Nikolaos Mavridis, with the mechanics by Hanson Robotics. Mavridis says some companies have approached his lab and asked about using the turban-wearing, bearded bot in shopping malls or as a receptionist.

The robot was demonstrated in the GITEX 2009 exhibition in Dubai, where it interacted with more than one thousand visitors, and has been featured in world media numerous times such as the UAE National,BBC, Agence France Press (AFP),Al Jazeera and others.

The Ibn Sina robot, named after an 11th century philosopher, can recognize faces, converse with people by speaking in classical Arabic, connect to the Internet, and retrieve information it can also exchange kisses with people. “Ibn Sina can speak and interact with other humans and show facial expressions. It speaks in Arabic and we have spend about Dh50,000 so far to develop it. If mass produced, the unit cost can be as low as Dh5,000,” said Nikoloas. Some companies have already introduced robotic receptionists in Japan. Nikoloas said the project is being carried out with the support of Microsoft and other big companies.

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He said about 30 students, including 10 international students from Pakistan, Australia, the US and Iran, have participated in the research and development efforts to develop the robot.

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