A student of MS Electrical Engineering, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering at LUMS, Faaiz Arbab, has manufactured Pakistan’s first smart wheelchair called GOBEE. National Design Awards (NDA) Pakistan has awarded Arbab with the best Consumer Product Design Award (2018) for his Voice Operated Smart Wheel Chair.
GOBEE is not only water repellent, and anti-rusting, but also has alloy rim wheels combined with an anti-sweat technology sofa seat. Arbab aims to assist people with disabilities through technology. The smart wheelchair offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a remote control which goes over the range of a 100 feet.
The young student being the founder of Ayub Yaqoob Engineering Company (AYECo) has already started distributing GOBEE in the Pakistani market. In future, the product may also be exported after its compliance with International Health Regulations (IHR) of World Health Organization (WHO).
Initially Arbab was not really confident that the National Incubation Center (NIC) at LUMS would acknowledged his idea. Although he was able to design an electric wheelchair many years ago and scored victories in science contests while doing his graduation from UET Lahore, he gave up on his dream and pursued a full-time job. However, soon he quit his job to make his dream a reality. Arbab had to take a fresh start since he had sold out all the hardware equipment. However, it didn’t let him down as NIC Lahore has identified the potential in his product and selected him for their incubation programme.
Future plans for GOBEE include an IP Camera and Artificial Intelligence. Currently, Pakistan imports smart wheelchairs, and with the advent of a localised product to effectively cater to people’s needs, the market could really open up for GOBEE.