Autonomous robotic technology is becoming a crucial part of our daily lives in the UAE, which is primed to become one of the most advanced nations in the world. Robotics and autonomous technologies are central to this agenda, impacting several priority industries including manufacturing, surgery, security, and delivery.
Collaboration lies at the heart of UAE’s overarching vision for autonomous technology, accelerating success stories and tapping into new innovative strategies.
As a nation, we have progressed to a point where we are able to successfully enable robots to work more autonomously in dynamic ecosystems, integrating robotic capabilities with human effort. Such heterogenous collaboration helps push unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles to perform complex navigation and manipulation tasks.
Delivering on such ambitious vision, ASPIRE, the program development pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, brought together universities, research institutions, and innovators from across the world to help adapt robotics innovations to real-world situations and needs through the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge.
The finalists of the challenge have just been revealed, and the entries represent the true spirit of collaboration and diversity among participating nations. The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge is at the forefront of leading breakthrough experimentation, while in parallel inspiring solutions to revolutionize automation as well as aerial and surface technologies.
The finalist teams selected through a yearlong rigorous process bring to the fore a collaborative spirit from university teams and research institutions hailing from various nations across the globe. Team “Fly Eagle” from United Arab Emirates and China; ‘KAIST’ from Korea; ‘Warsaw MIMotaurs’ from Poland; ‘UNIZG-FER’ from Croatia; and ‘ROC’ from Denmark and Sweden.
The challenge finals, to be held in February 2024, represent the first-of-a-kind experiment that will involve a heterogeneous collaboration among unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to perform complex navigation and manipulation tasks in a GNSS-denied marine environment.
As part of the challenge, the finalist teams will convene to find practical solutions to pressing challenges such as illegal fishing, piracy, smuggling, and human trafficking.
The MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge serves as a platform to push technological boundaries with a view of achieving breakthrough solutions in the advanced technology space and establishing UAE’s pioneering role as a leader in autonomous technology at the global level.
The challenge marks a developmental step towards addressing real-world and complex challenges with tangible solutions that deliver measurable impact.
– The author is the CEO, ASPIRE