DUBAI: A young Saudi team competing in a major international robotics competition vowed on Saturday to play their part in creating a pollution-free world.
“We represent hope for the future not only for Saudi Arabia, but also humanity at large,” team leader Maysoon Humaidan told Arab News.
More than 1,500 contestants from 190 countries are taking part in the FIRST Global Challenge 2019 in Dubai, which focuses on creating robots to clean up the world’s seas by eliminating waste and pollutants.
Humaidan said the Saudi team was “strapped in” for the contest, and described the team members as “young enthusiasts for science and knowledge.” Their dream was to “motivate Saudi youth to enter the fields of science, technology and mathematics in order to find solutions to the problems and challenges facing humanity,” she said.
Team member Sulafa Al-Shehri, 14, said the robotics challenge had expanded her knowledge of technology, sustainability and environmental protection. Fadel Younes, 15, said modern technology could solve many of the world’s most pressing problems.
The team’s ambitions reflect the giant strides the Kingdom has made in involving youth in the tech sector and its applications across all walks of life.
Recently the Kingdom said it was introducing artificial intelligence and robotics applications in the Ministry of Education to improve customer service. Two years ago, Saudi Arabia granted Saudi citizenship to the robot Sophia, symbol of the Neom “smart city.”