While generally known as a glittering city-state exemplifying the height of wealth, Dubai lately seems to be synonymous with 3D printing and related technologies. It’s all part of a very deliberate and long-term plan: from public transportation to hospitals and dental services—and far more—Dubai has been forging ahead with a multi-tiered strategy to implement 3D printing technology into their most important sectors, even working to provide standards in construction.
Along with these plans, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and the Crown Prince of Dubai, also announced Dubai Future Accelerators, meant to fund companies who will be bringing forth many different innovative solutions. Now, they will be launching an innovation center through the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). The new center is meant to encourage creativity in disabled students, and will be a part of the Dubai Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled.
- His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- HE Najla bin Mohammed Al Awar, Cabinet member and Minister of Community Development
- HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA
It’s hoped that the 150 disabled students enrolled in the program will also be learning new skills to propel them ahead in the job market, to include robotics and 3D printing. Six months of planning went into supplying the Center with the best tools for the students, as the government’s ultimate goal is to see more disabled citizens in the work force.
The Center will be operating from eight different ‘corners’:
- Fantasy – The students will be able to interact with a smart screen meant to enhance creativity.
- Junior Innovator Corner – A variety of different tools allow students to create everything from robots to architectural models.
- Solar Energy – Students see the direct impact of environmental concepts in their lives as solar energy is linked to powering items in their homes, along with machines like electric cars.
- Robotics – Here, students are guided to create robots like those that would power cranes, trucks, and autonomous cars.
- The Now Robot – This area allows for students to program a robot that is just under 20 inches long.
- 3D Printing – This area is most likely to serve as a real treat for the students who will have two 3D printers at their disposal, as they learn to make objects like cups, toys, and even medical devices.
- Reading – Smart pens will help accentuate storytelling.
- DEWA’s Smart Services: Students will be able use DEWA’s Ash’ir initiative for the hearing impaired.
“The special needs segment has to understand impact of these technologies over next generation, and they have to be aware of how to use it since they’re also part of the society,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communication at DEWA. “We needed to program the robots, for example, to suit their needs. Many disabled students have strong visual abilities, so understanding their learning curve is important to providing them with the right tools that will help them translate their ideas into actions.”
“Breaking the ice and limitations, while supporting families with low financial capabilities is the main goal,” she said.
Discuss in the Dubai forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Khaleej Times]