Officials at the press conference.
Abu Dhabi event to showcase world’s best robotics solutions
ABU DHABI, March 12, 2017
Robotics enthusiasts in the UAE will have a rare opportunity to witness the world’s best robotics solutions in action at the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) taking place this week in Abu Dhabi.
The inaugural MBZIRC, from March 16 to 18 at the Yas Island Marina Circuit in the Capital City of Abu Dhabi, is being organized by Khalifa University under the patronage of HH Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The MBZIRC is a biennial competition that will gather the world’s brightest talents in the field of robotics in the capital of the UAE. The debut edition will witness 26 teams from 15 countries compete in three challenges, plus a triathlon-type Grand Challenge, all of which will involve the construction and navigation of unmanned vehicles.
The total prize, and team sponsorship, worth $5 million is one of the biggest rewards for robotics contests worldwide.
Academic luminaries took to the podium to explain the relevance of MBZIRC and share the details of the competition at a press conference held today at the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. The panel consisted of Dr Tod Laursen, president of Khalifa University; Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice president of Khalifa University; Dr Mohammed Al-Mualla, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs of Higher Education and General Chair of the event’s organizing committee; and Dr Lakmal Seneviratne, associate provost of research and graduate studies and director of robotics at Khalifa University.
The speakers highlighted the event's programme and the impact MBZIRC will have on the future of robotics development and the sustained growth of the robotics industry.
"Although robotics has already proven its potential to spur social and economic development worldwide, here in the Middle East there are still some technological gaps that need to be filled. Initiatives such as MBZIRC are crucial to the sustained and comprehensive growth of the robotics field and its broader applications in the Arab World.,” said said Dr. Laursen.
Dr Al Hammadi outlined the various benefits of the challenge in supporting research and higher education and enhancing the UAE’s global leadership in the technological field.
He said: “Although the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge will honour and reward the best robotics designs, technologies and implementations, the greatest prize that awaits us is the valuable knowledge we shall acquire on how the future of robotics is dramatically unfolding and the important applications that will make robots important enablers of society. This competition will also significantly drive research and studies on robotics and foster greater collaboration and camaraderie among its practitioners. Moreover, it will highlight the emergence of the UAE as a global hub for advanced technology in line with its Innovation Strategy which seeks to establish the Emirates as one of the world’s most innovative countries in the next few years.”
MBZIRC 2017 is supported by the Information and Communication Technology Fund (ICTF), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and Norinco. - TradeArabia News Service