Invention and innovation have always been the passion for 13-year-old Ali Humaid Alloghani. At the recent UAE Innovates exhibition, he displayed a wheelchair that can be remotely controlled. He fashioned this by using parts from an old toy.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Alloghani explained: "The wheelchair can be remotely controlled using a smart glove. So for example, if someone is sitting somewhere and he needs his wheelchair, he doesn’t need anyone to bring it to him. He can control it with the smart glove and get the wheelchair to come to him.”

Ali was part of a group of enterprising teenagers who are exhibiting their work at the UAE Innovates exhibition, that recently concluded at the Emirates Towers boulevard. It marked the end of a month-long campaign that sees the government, private sector, and individuals working to help create a widespread culture of innovation. The youngsters are part of the Emirates Science Club (ESC), which encourages youngsters to build and innovate ideas.

Creative and committed creator

Ali, who dreams of being a scientist and astronaut, said that he has been a part of the ESC for over seven years.

“I joined the club when I was six and I have so far created 14 projects,” he said. “I am exhibiting four other innovations of mine here. One is a medical bot that can consult and communicate with patients from around the world. I also have the smart ship accident prevention system which doubles up as a ship pollution prevention system as it catches pollutants and a sustainable electric charging system which uses renewable energy to produce the electricity needed to charge vehicles.”

Ali said that almost all his inventions came from his experiences. “Everything that I make helps someone I know,” he said. “Sometimes it is a family member and sometimes it is a friend.”

Established in 1990, the ESC conducts training programs and sessions for youngsters in all fields of science and technology. Divided its activities into nine categories including robotics, 3-D printers and carpentry, the club is operated by skilful and experienced engineers as well as inventors.

Microscope for the masses

Another invention displayed at the event was a low-cost microscope developed by friends Safiya Khalaf Al Mazrouei and Amna Khalid Al Suweidi. Designed as a DIY project, the microscope is meant for schools in impoverished areas to give students access to microscopes.

“The microscope will be connected to a screen so the students will be able to view whatever is under the lens on a big screen,” said Safiya. “It is very simply designed so that students can put the microscope together with minimal help.”

According to Amna, the device took them almost two months to build. “From the time we thought of the idea, we knew that we wanted to make something that will help students around the world,” she said. “We know that there are many schools which don’t have access to microscopes for learning science. So we designed something that is very cost effective, simple and effective.”

UAE Innovates was launched in 2015 and has become a yearly flagship event in the country. It celebrates innovation and supports the implementation of the advanced national innovation strategy.

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