Khalifa University launching international robotics challenge

Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi said it is organizing the first Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), slated to be held in March, which include competitors from top universities and organizations from around the world.

The international robotics competition will feature three challenges as well as a grand challenge. The challenges include using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to locate, track and land on a moving vehicle; using an unmanned ground vehicle to navigate to a panel and operate a valve stem on it; and using a team of UAVs to search, locate, track, pick and place a set of static and moving objects.

"The challenge aims at taking the advanced science and technology to new levels in order to push forward the innovation to new horizons," Khalifa University Executive Vice President Arif Al Hammadi said. "This, in turn, will help support both Abu Dhabi’s and UAE’s knowledge economy visions."

A total of 46 teams will be competing in the inaugural MBZIRC. Some of the academic facilities that will be represented are King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, King Saud University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, University of Catania, University of Seville, University of Tokyo, University of Zurich, Xi'an Jiaotong University and Virginia Tech.

Some of the organizations that will be represented include Accelerated Dynamics from the UK, Advanced Robotics Engineering Solutions from Malaysia, Mohamed Bin Rashed Space Center from UAE and NaviRobot LLC from Russia.

"We were pleased with the response we’ve received for this challenge and I’m excited to see the finalists in action," Al Hammadi said. "This is a unique challenge that will certainly give competitors an opportunity to display their skills to the world. The representation from across academia and industry will make for some interesting innovations that will no doubt have widespread effects on the field of robotics and determine how new technologies are applied in the future."

MBZIRC will be held every two years and offer $5 million in prizes.

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Khalifa University

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