A great Muslim polymath Ibn Sina will be brought back to life again, but this time as a robot at the UAE University.
It will be the first Arabic-speaking humanoid and its creation is expected to open up new educational opportunities for students, academicians and the IT industry.
Dr Rafic A. Makki, Dean of the College of Information Technology at the UAEU, on Wednesday told Gulf News that a team of experts, led by Dr Nikolaos Mavridis, had started work on the project.
The college has been building a new laboratory to create new electronic forms of media for the project. "We have been acquiring new equipment for the lab from Europe that will reach here in the next two weeks," said the Dean.
He said a fully-equipped Ibn Sina Centre would also be set up in the college. "It will be a great place where robots and humans will live together," he said.
Dr Mavridis, an assistant professor at the college and head of the robot building team, said the humanoid would support rich interactivity. "There is an immense need for advanced education and research in robotics that has a whole lot of dimensions.
"We are planning to introduce two more IT courses at the college in the near future to prepare students for different aspects of robotics," he said.
Ibn Sina humanoid would have an extensive network of sensors. It would be able to demonstrate different human postures, movements, facial expressions, eye movements, sounds, and objects tracked. "It would be made possible through a multiple built-in as well as external sensors," he said.
Dr Mavidis would handle the robot’s interactivity, while other members of his team would work on other aspects of the project: Tamer Rabie will handle vision and virtual reality; Driss Guerchi will work on Arabic speech synthesis and recognition and Harmain Harmain on Arabic Neuro-Linguistic Programming.