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October 24 2021 5:38 AM ˚

Robotna uses modern technology to shape youth

Jasser Al-Harasis (center) and the Robotna team is seen at the International Youth Foundation in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from Robotna)
Jasser Al-Harasis (center) and the Robotna team is seen at the International Youth Foundation in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from Robotna)
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AMMAN — Robotna is a community-based company that uses robots and artificial intelligence to teach science and technology and help integrate it with classroom curriculum. Jasser Al-Harasis, the company’s co-founder and CEO, launched the initiative in 2013. اضافة اعلان

“The idea started as an initiative in 2013 by me and Thaer Alldawe, co-founder and CFO, and was launched from Tafileh Technical University. My partner and I started giving the university's students a workshop about Robotics, and then these students go to train the students in public and less fortunate schools in the Tafileh Governorate for free,” said Harasis.



His Majesty King Abdullah meets virtually with the Robotna girls’ team in 2020. (Photo: Handout from Robotna)

In 2016, the partners took the next step towards transforming Robotna into a community-based company “We provide our services in academies, private schools, and NGOs. Moreover, part of the revenue is used to support the programs that we give in the public and less fortunate schools; and also the refugees.” Harasis added.

Robotna's aim is to improve creative thinking abilities and encourage future scientists, according to Harasis.

Harasis said one of the company’s early challenges was finding inexpensive robots, but that they were able to solve this problem by taking old kits from private schools and academies and refurbishing and using them in their robotics training.

“Robotna provides free training to over 3,500 students every year in all the governorates in the Kingdom,” Harasis added.

The CEO said that Robotna provides communities with a one-year training program, where students are taught about robotics, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship. “The student takes all the skills he learned and comes up with his own project idea using modern technology.” Harasis said.

The company also provides specialized services for IT students and graduates, and online training services where students learn about AI. “This service was launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its training program is the first of its kind in the Middle East,” Harasis said.

Robotna also offers a summer camp. “The vision of Robotna is that we would like to see that our students are leaders in the future. … in the near future we will lose many routine and office jobs and most of the workers in these jobs are women, and they will be the biggest losers.” Harasis said.

“Seventy percent of Robotna's programs target girls so they can have an alternative to normal professions in the future and Robotna Girls is one of our most important free projects that supports girls: It is made up of 10 girls from East Amman and Zarqa who compete internationally and represent Jordan.”

He went on to say that while many jobs will be lost, other jobs will be created, including those related to the manufacturing and development of robots. “We are teaching our learners to be the ones who will obtain future jobs, not those who will lose them.”

Robotna has won the community leadership challenge competition from the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, and the team has received financial support to train students, in addition to participating in international competitions.

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