Sultan al Subhi won US$150,000 for his Wudu1, a robotic wudu (ablution) area cleaner. Subhi is the first Omani to win an award at the show aired on MBC4.
Sultan's automated robot cleans the surface of any room using special sensors, and has an auto water dispensing mechanism.
The additional feature that marks out the robot is its ability to operate based on a timed local schedule that is adapted to the call for prayer.
This robot can be used in wudu areas. Often, places were wudu (the act of washing before prayers) takes place can become slippery and wet. The robot is designed to ensure that the area remains clean and safe.
An official from the Stars of Science told Muscat Daily, “This was the first time an Omani student made it to the final stage. There were more than 300 applications in 2014 where 12 finalists were picked and made to work with a mentor to produce their projects.
“A professional prototype is required from the students and it is further enhanced. The aim of the contest is to encourage innovation and thought process and scientific understanding among individuals.”
She added, “We are into the seventh season of the competition this year and we have already received about 600 application from across the region. We have PhD students who are interested in sending their submissions. We appreciate originality and innovation. The seventh season will be available for viewers by September. The winners are decided by a criteria which is based on jurors' decision and SMS voting.”
According to organisers, Sultan has been enthusiastic about science since a young age. His talent was so pronounced that he was offered a position at an electronics firm at the age of 16.
Sultan has also established an electronics start-up. A graduate of the Royal Guard of Oman Technical College (RGOTC), Sultan is pursuing a degree in mechatronics engineering at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, US.
Known to other candidates as 'the strategist', the calculated and reserved Sultan came to Stars of Science determined to make his family proud by developing his project, the Wudu Area Robotic Cleaner.
Stars of Science is the region’s first pan-Arab Edutainment TV programme dedicated to innovation that was launched in 2009.