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Best bots, drones coming to Abu Dhabi for Dh18m challenge

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 22, 2020 | Last updated on January 22, 2020 at 07.02 pm
Best bots, drones, Abu Dhabi, Dh18m challenge, Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, advanced innovations, robotics technologies
32 teams to vie for honors at $5-million Mohamed bin Zayed international robotics challenge 2020.-Supplied photo

The competition is set to be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

Thirty-two teams will be competing for honours at the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) 2020 to display their advanced innovations in some key robotics technologies, authorities have announced.

The second edition of the $5-million (Dh18.4 million) biennial international robotics competition - organised by the Khalifa University of Science and Technology - will be held from February 23-25 in Abu Dhabi, in parallel with the Unmanned System Exhibition (Umex) and Simulation and Training (Simtex) 2020.

Around 500 top robotics experts from 32 international teams from Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and the UAE are preparing for the final leg of MBZIRC 2020, in which they will compete in four iconic robotics challenges that will test advanced embodied AI technical skills.

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: "These finalists represent internationally renowned academic and research institutions with well-established robotics labs.

"With such top league participants, we firmly believe MBZIRC 2020 will showcase the creative best in robotics."


The competition, set to be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), will include three individual challenges and a triathlon type Grand Challenge.

Challenge one will focus on drone safety, testing whether a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can autonomously track, capture, and neutralise intruder UAVs.

Focused on construction automation and robot-based 3D printing of large structures, the second challenge will test how a team of UAVs and an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) can collaborate to autonomously locate, pick, transport and assemble different types of brick-shaped objects to build pre-defined structures in an outdoor environment.

Motivated by the use of robots for urban firefighting, the third will assess how a team of UAVs and a UGV will collaborate to autonomously extinguish a series of simulated fires in an urban high-rise building.

The Grand Challenge requires a team of robots (UAVs and UGVs) to compete in a triathlon type event, combining all three challenges.

These will require participating teams to display their skills and technical advances in fast autonomous navigation within semi-structured, complex, and dynamic environments and with reduced visibility (smoke or hazy conditions) and minimal prior knowledge.

They will also be challenged in robust perception and tracking dynamic objects in 3D, sensing and avoiding obstacles, GPS-denied navigation in indoor-outdoor environments, physical interactions, complex mobile manipulations, and air-surface collaboration.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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