Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said it has launched a pilot project for the world’s first virtual reality (VR) remote inspection for utility maintenance.
This is in implementation of the National Innovation Strategy launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world.
The project also supports Dewa’s vision to become a sustainable and innovative world-class utility, said a statement from the utility.
The pilot project combines autonomous robots from SAP’s VR and Internet of Things (IoT) to remotely inspect Dewa’s electricity and water networks.
As a result, it will enhance the utility inspection and maintenance by making it faster, safer, and more cost-effective.
Dewa said that it was currently deploying the system as a proof of concept in a high-voltage power tunnel in Dubai.
"Dewa is keen to instil a culture of creativity and innovation in the workplace, and to best use new technologies to achieve the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021," remarked Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director and CEO.
"We intend to benefit from VR in our operations, which also emphasises our leading position as one of the innovative and most efficient utilities in the world," he stated.
Dewa, said Al Tayer, always takes the initiative to use the latest technological systems and solutions to serve the community and make Dubai a smart, integral and connected city.
Marwan Bin Haider, the executive vice president of Innovation and the Future at Dewa, said: "We consider creativity and innovation as a cornerstone and standard practice for the development of our services and operations."
"Today, Dewa is taking a new step in its quest for excellence in smart transformation by adopting VR technology. This enhances our operations, and accelerates the innovation process for further success and achievement, he noted.
Tayfun Topkoc, the managing director of SAP UAE, said launching the remote inspection system demonstrates Dewa’s global leadership in government innovation, and showcases practical examples of IoT and VR technology.
"SAP is committed to further supporting the UAE’s government future digital transformation to solve business challenges, enhance citizen services, and co-drive innovation," he added.