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Wassim El Hariri

Lebanese Wunderkind
Age: 
24
Country: 
Lebanon
Project: 
Hospital Patient Food Delivery Robot

Life has never gone as planned for Wassim El Hariri, but that’s not a bad thing in his book. The 24-year-old robotics specialist and telecommuting MBA student from the University of California, Irvine has learned to roll with the punches. That attitude has served the Lebanese wunderkind well. On the brink of stardom on Stars of Science, his ability to adapt might be his master card.

Wassim’s ambition had always been to become a pilot. He pictured himself flying through the skies of Lebanon to faraway destinations. A less-than-perfect vision test derailed that dream.  This was nothing more than a small setback for the soft-spoken Wassim. He bounced back and set off to pursue his other passion – studying mechatronics.

After graduating from the Rafik Hariri University, Wassim went on to attain a master’s degree in robotics at Politecnico di Torino in Italy. A few years later, he found himself working for an up-and-coming robotics company in Berlin, Germany. Here, he worked on several projects for organizations in Italy, France, and Switzerland. Notably, he successfully delivered nine robot units for the German government to aid in passport delivery. He also represented his company at automatica – the largest robotic exhibition in Europe.

All was hunky-dory until Wassim showcased his company’s inventory robot designed to move boxes in a warehouse.

“At the exhibition in Dubai, people started throwing empty cups and papers into the robot because they thought it was for trash,” said Wassim. “I was horrified.”

His next idea would prove Wassim’s inventiveness. He got to work with his team and designed a robot that collects and disposes trash at conferences. After a successful launch, his creation is flying off the shelf. Talking about turning lemons into lemonade! If Wassim can be as cool and collected as he was in the past, he’ll go far this season.

About the Project:

Every hospital is a hub of logistical activity. The stakes couldn’t be higher – medicine stocks must be replenished and clean equipment must be at the ready. Often lost in the hustle and bustle is meal delivery. If food is late, forgotten, or prepared wrongly, the patients suffer. Even the best hospitals around the world face this challenge.

Enter Wassim’s Hospital Patient Food Delivery Robot. Wassim is applying cutting edge robotic technology to the challenge of hospital food delivery. In automating this vital function within a hospital, Wassim believes it will offer efficiency savings to hospitals by freeing up hospital staff and ensure that patients are served meals quickly and safely since his robot is designed to be adept at navigating through crowded hallways to deliver meals on time to patients and avoid human error.

Impact:

Wassim’s project cuts down on human error by automatically delivering meals from the hospital kitchen to the bedside of patients, freeing up hospital staff to focus on patient care.