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$5M prize announced for international robotics contest

17 Feb 2015

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The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) was recently announced in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organised by Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa University, the competition, which is named after the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, will be held every two years and boasts prizes worth a total of $5 million.

"This event will undoubtedly attract some of the best robotics minds in the world, and bring international attention to the growing robotics industry in the UAE," said Khalifa University president, Tod Laursen. "Throughout history, challenges issued by governments, scientific communities and international entities have often played a central role in advancing knowledge, the so-called "space race" of the 1960s is perhaps one of the most memorable examples of this idea, and the UAE has picked up this theme recently with its aspirations for a Mars mission. In a similar spirit, the MBZIRC will spur future development of worldwide robotic technology by requiring research, invention and real-life application of its winners. Challenges issued in this event will stretch participants a bit beyond the current state of the art, such that new developments and discoveries will be needed for success. We believe that a bit of audacity in challenge specification is key to the innovation process."

MBZIRC

Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan launches MBZIRC.

The first MBZIRC will require competitors to develop aerial and ground vehicles capable of executing tasks in complex, dynamic environments. The challenge will be to create a vehicle that can complete tasks in a simulated disaster response scenario. It will involve the collaboration of a group of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in a changing environment that requires the robots to carry out a series of tasks using autonomous navigation and environmental interactions. The challenge will be judged by an independent panel made up of international robotics experts.




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