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Advanced Robotics and AI Shaping Dubai’s Key Sectors

Dubai Future Lab

Dubai Future Labs (DFL), an advanced applied research and development (R&D) lab established by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), is providing cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence know-how to the government, private sector and community.

From autonomous vehicles and hospital ventilators to last-mile logistics drones, researchers, scientists and engineers within the DFL are shaping the future through foresight in technological advancement and positioning Dubai as a leading city of the future.  Also read: Dubai Sets Up R&D Program for its Future Plans

The DFL is an incubator of the “Dubai Robotics and Automation Program,” launched in September 2022 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, chairman of the executive council of Dubai and chairman of the board of trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, to make Dubai among the top 10 cities in the adoption and development of robotics and automation technologies and increase this sector's contribution to Dubai’s GDP to 9% in 10 years.

The M061 project is perhaps DLF's most timely and appropriate use of robotics and AI.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team focused on a project to combat the shortage of ventilators. The M061 project, overseen by 25 experts, developed ventilators that used readily available components that could be easily sourced, assembled, and deployed. An updated prototype is due to be unveiled and certified later this year.

With global supply chains bottle necks, the DFL is also helping to meet challenges in logistics. The DFL has partnered with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, as well as other major partners, to develop the first drone delivery service for groceries, with the potential to be scaled up with enhancements and efficiency.

Autonomy and drones are key focus areas for DFL. Alongside Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, it has established an enablement area for drone operators and technology that facilitates testing and certification. DFL is analyzing the whole spectrum of drone technology through collaboration with food delivery aggregators, air cargo operators and healthcare providers.

“Dubai Future Labs offers a range of opportunities for experts, academics and innovators. This includes working alongside our technical team on our projects, becoming a fellow and joining as an intern. Each of these opportunities is immensely rewarding, and we invite talents from the UAE and abroad to connect with us, to make significant contributions to the technologies and solutions that will shape our future,” Khalifa Al Qama, director at Dubai Future Labs, explained.

DLF is playing a vital role in Dubai’s broader R&D and innovation ecosystem – one that is powering development across private and public sectors and contributing to giant leaps in technologies that benefit the global community.

All interested organizations, futurists and entrepreneurs can collaborate with DFL on conducting R&D activities and come up with AI and 4IR-driven solutions. Individuals can also apply to DFL’s training and fellowship program, where they become part of the lab’s community and gain valuable hands-on experience. Finally, people can also apply to DFL’s internship program, which supports career development.