Jordan’s first robot becomes an employee at PSUT
During a ceremony held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, the President of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, announced the introduction into service of the first robot at the University, adding another unique achievement to an already outstanding record. Pepper the robot, which was manufactured in Japan, was brought to the University thanks to the existing good relations between Jordan and Japan and through the dedicated efforts of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan.
PSUT’s President, Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, said that this robot, which is the first smart robot in human form, is the only one of its kind in Jordan. A group of students at the University, under the supervision of their professors, were able to program its movements and languages. Experts are impressed by the students’ work, and regard this as a great achievement for them.
Prof. Al-Refai pointed out that Pepper is the first robot to have been made a PSUT employee, serving as an active member of the University family and assisting in scientific research procedures and student training in the expertise needed for Pepper’s manufacture and development. The students will develop an Arabic version of the program to be presented to Jordanian school students to encourage them to enter this scientific field. Pepper the robot is the first in the world to be designed to live with humans. It can recognize faces and objects around it and distinguish them by name. It is also the first robot capable of recognizing and distinguishing a person’s emotions, and consequently adapts its behavior and manner in accordance with the person interacting with it. Humans can interact with Pepper in various ways, such as sound and touch. The robot, the product of advanced technology, was revealed and received at the 8th World Science Forum, 2017, organized by the Royal Scientific Society, and will now become an integral part of the University's teaching system.
The ceremony was attended by the cultural attaches of a number of embassies, representatives of the media, recruitment companies, interested parties from the economy sector, schools, Vice President Prof. Arafat Awajan, deans of the University’s Schools, faculty members and students, as well as the directors of the Royal Scientific Society. In his speech, Prof. Al-Refai noted that PSUT has established a record of distinguished achievements during its relatively short history. The latest was the University's obtaining first place for all categories in the general level of the National University Proficiency Exam, which is administered by the Higher Education Accreditation Commission, as well as gaining top ranking in the exact specialization section of the exam for 82% of its taught programs. He added that the introduction of Pepper and its appointment at the University is a clear indication of PSUT’s determination to keep pace with everything new in the world of technology, and its keenness to be the leading pioneer in Jordan and the region. This is in line with PSUT’s vision and mission which have set it firmly on the path of leadership and excellence, holding the promise of yet further distinguished achievements to help the University remain a bright beacon and shining jewel among universities, all by the grace of the kind patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
For his part, Dr. Sanad Bushnaq, who came from Japan as guest of honor at the ceremony, stressed that Jordanian talents and minds possess the ability and can match the level of Japan if given the right environment. The existence of this robot in Jordan is the ultimate proof, because it was programmed and controlled by a team of the finest students of Princess Sumaya University for Technology and their professors, who were together able to overcome the challenges and problems that faced them.
At the close of the ceremony, Prof. Al-Refai gave thanks on behalf of the University family to Dr. Sanad Bushnaq and those colleagues at the University who participated in programming Pepper, namely Eng. Saddam Ratrout, Amr Al-Barghouthi, and Mustafa Al-Zahlan. He congratulated them and awarded them honors in recognition of their sincere efforts in achieving this success. Last but not least, Pepper was awarded his own University ID card.