$5 Million Worth of Prizes in UAE International Robotics Challenge

Khalifa University launches international call for participants in three-part robotics challenge.

Image courtesy of MBZIRC opening ceremony.

Image courtesy of MBZIRC opening ceremony.

Khalifa University (KU), UAE, has launched the biennial Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC). The contest aims to usher in a technologically-advanced society and offers prizes totalling an impressive $5 million US dollars.

Khalifa University has started receiving proposals from teams to participate in the challenge and will continue to do so until their November 7, 2015 deadline.

The MBZIRC consists of a triathlon of outdoor real-world scenarios. The events also culminate in what they call a “Grand Challenge.” The three events are as follows:

  1. Landing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) onto a moving ground vehicle.
  2. Having an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) locate another ground vehicle and physically operate a valve on the second vehicle.
  3. Having a team of UAVs search, locate, track, pick and place a set of static and moving objects.

The Grand Challenge will involve a team of UAVs and UGVs participating in a challenge that combines all three of the events.

The event is scheduled to start in 2017 and 316 teams from 163 institutes in 45 countries have already sent in their intent to participate. This gives the teams plenty of time to design robots to tackle these tasks.

“We were pleased with the response we’ve received for this challenge and are looking forward to the proposals,” said Mohammed Al-Mualla, KU’s senior vice president for research and graduate studies. “This is an exciting challenge, and will certainly give competitors an opportunity to display their capabilities to the world, so it’s wonderful to receive so many responses from so many different countries.”

“The representation across academia and industry is also encouraging,” added Al-Mualla. “The innovations created by our contestants will no doubt have widespread effects on the field of robotics and determine how new technologies are applied in the future. We are looking forward to seeing the proposals these teams will put forward, and are eagerly awaiting the challenge in 2017.”

Will your industrial or academic team travel to the UAE and participate in the challenge? Let us know below.

Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at Engineering.com, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.