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A representational rendering for the 'Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge 2023' Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), with more than $3 million (around Dh11 million) in prize money, will be held in Abu Dhabi in June 2023.

Tech innovators will participate to seek marine safety and security solutions. Organised by ASPIRE, the technology programme management pillar of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching advanced technology research body in Abu Dhabi, MBZIRC is held every two years.

The upcoming edition, called MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge, focuses on real-time solutions to maritime safety and security challenges.

Complex tasks

The challenge is open to international universities, research institutions, companies and individual innovators from all over the world. It will involve a collaboration among unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), to perform complex navigation and manipulation tasks.

The challenge is for a swarm of UAVs to identify a target vessel from several similar vessels in open waters in a “GNSS-denied environment”, and to off-load specific items from the target onto an USV in the shortest possible time using autonomous technologies.

Registration is now open for the challenge.

Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General, ATRC, said: “We are proud that MBZIRC is going global by inviting the best talent from all over the world to participate. We have set a tough real-world challenge that will push the participants to the limits of their capabilities. The event is a great opportunity to demonstrate the pioneering scientific research work that is taking place in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

Robots to the rescue?

Dr Arthur Morrish, CEO of ASPIRE, said: “For countries with long coastlines, ensuring maritime safety requires significant investment in sophisticated equipment and highly-trained personnel. Using advanced robotic systems cannot only help reduce costs, but also handle some of the often-dangerous tasks performed by humans. The motivation for holding the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge is to take the technology out of the laboratory and test it in a real-world environment to see what is possible.”