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Dubai students train robots to compete in sports

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on December 3, 2019 | Last updated on December 3, 2019 at 06.47 am

(Supplied)

Students competed alongside golfing professionals at the championship.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now playing a key role in transforming physical education and sports in schools. And now, some students are building robot athletes to compete in competitions.

Last week, more than 100 students from 10 schools competed alongside the DP World Golf Tour Championship with robots that play golf, called 'GolfBots', during the STEAMathalon event. Students competed alongside golfing professionals at the championship, including household names such as Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Adri Arnaus.

"An official European tour event has recognised this as the possible future for another sport that would offshoot from golf and that is a big deal for us. We are using golf to teach students AI and showcase how technology is used in sports," Aaditya Tangri, co-founder and CEO of Kalebr Americas and founder of STEAMathalon, told Khaleej Times.

"With robots becoming increasingly autonomous, we will definitely see more robot-focused sports in the future. Every sport would have a robot playing alongside humans or sports that are completely centered on robots. Humans will be controlling or coaching robots in terms of what they must to do."

For the STEAMatholon, students were required to create their own golf robot to compete in the tournament. They trained their own AI models which powered their robots, helping the pupils practice and implement STEAM-based learning.

It's not just golf that is seeing the integration of robots and AI-integrated machines - tennis and basketball are also seeing a shift.

In October, students from around the world competed on a mini basketball field using robot athletes they had built for the Dubai's Global Challenge event.

Sreejit Chakrabarty, director of robotics and AI at GEMS Education, told KT: "AI is being used in sports - physical education departments are now using AI-based cameras and machine lea-rning to do biomechanics in sports like golf and tennis to watch the movement of the body. The machine learning models can predict training pattern that needs to be done. It's like a virtual coach."

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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