Dubai: This roving robot can announce end of fasting during Ramadan

It has speakers and a touchscreen monitor – aside from camera and motion sensors – that can be used to make important announcements

by Angel Tesorero



KT Photos: Rahul Gajjar


An autonomous robot deployed to monitor erring e-scooter and bicycle users can also be used to call the faithful for prayers and end their fast during Ramadan, an official from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) told Khaleej Times on Thursday.


The five-foot AI-powered robot has speakers and a touchscreen monitor – aside from camera and motion sensors – that can be used to make important announcements. “It’s an added feature that can be activated during the trial period,” noted Hamad Alafeefi, director at RTA’s Enterprise Command and Control Department (EC3).


During the one-month trial phase, the robot will be sweeping an area of about 600 metres along the busy tourist area of Jumeirah Kite Beach. It will gather data to identify a range of violations, including failure to adhere to safety protocols like wearing helmets and parking in unauthorised areas or having multiple riders on e-scooters.


But authorities such as RTA and Dubai Police can also calibrate the robot to make important public announcements such as call to prayer or to remind people to keep off the beach during inclement weather.


According to RTA, “the robot is designed to operate efficiently under various weather conditions.” It operates seven days a week – from 3pm to 11pm on weekdays and 5pm to 1am on weekends. It has a 4K camera with night vision.


RTA signed an agreement with Chinese robotics and technical systems provider Terminus to run the project.




Ehsan Hameed, sales director of Terminus Group in the UAE, said the RTA roving robot has similarities to those deployed during Expo 2020. Terminus supplied about 150 robots that interacted with Expo visitors and the RTA roving robot also has interactive functionalities, Hameed noted.


It’s hard to miss the robot because of its size – dimensions are 1,000mm X 800mm X 1,500mm (LxWxH) – and novelty. But it works unobtrusively as it either comes to a complete stop or dodges any object or individual within 1.5 metres in front of it.




The trial period will run throughout Ramadan, Eid al Fitr and post Ramadan to gather enough information and data before authorities deploy more robots in Dubai in the second phase of the project.







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