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Arab inventions that are changing the world

Students from across the MENA region have gathered in Dubai to present their social-impact inventions, as part of Dubai Design Week. The proposed projects each seek to bring practical solutions to tackling systemic problems, ranging from environmental issues to societal ones such as health. 

A’seed Bot

The A’seed Bot is one such invention. Designed by Mazhar Etehadi from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, the tiny robot roams the desert to combat desertification. Fully autonomous, the robot is equipped with solar cells, allowing it to recharge during the day. When on the move, the tiny contraption navigates through the terrain at night, identifying fertile areas of ground and planting seeds based on the data collected. One can imagine a fleet of these across the desert, planting seeds for the next generation. 



DeVu bracelet

Another such contraption is the DeVu bracelet, designed by Nada Baghat from Badr University in Cairo. The bracelet is a wearable captioning device, meaning that it helps deaf individuals communicate with those around them. By transforming people’s spoken language to text, which is displayed on the wristband, the DeVu bracelet accurately shows the wearer what their interlocutor is saying in real-time. The bracelet can even tell the wearer which direction the voice is coming from. 



Devices like the NYMO, by Farah Barakat at the German University in Cairo, can also serve as an early warning system for the elderly and otherwise infirmed. The small spherical robot encourages self-care by integrating itself into the user’s daily routine and seeks to stop medical problems before they start. By focusing on prevention, NYMO reflects the condition of the user in its own appearance — when the user is healthy, so is NYMO. When the user’s health begins to deteriorate, NYMO will begin to wither away due to neglect. It is a handy reminder to take care of  yourself while using sensors and deep learning to track the quality of your daily routine.