Winners of UAE’s biggest robotics competition crowned

University of Bonn scoop two awards including the grand challenge

19:25 March 18, 2017

Abu Dhabi: The winners of the first ever Mohammad Bin Zayed International Robotics Competition (MBZIRC) were awarded in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, with $2 million (Dh7.34 million) in prize money being awarded to the winning teams.

The biggest robotics competition of its kind in the UAE, the three-day event saw 25 teams from 16 countries taking part, competing in a series of challenges to see which team had managed to build the best robot.

Coming in first place and winning the grand challenge was the University of Bonn, who scooped up $1 million in prize money. The team also won another Dh1.2 million after taking first place in the challenge two category.

“It was a very intense experience for us and our team, we competed in all the challenges and we are obviously very happy and proud to have won the grand challenge and the second challenge,” said Professor Sven Behnke, who led the team.

“Robotics has a bright future ahead of it and it definitely needs investment to continue to be a success and to have more people involved,” he added.

Coming in first place in the first challenge category was the Beijing Institute of Technology team, which won Dh1.2 million. The combined teams of Czech Technical University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Lincoln won first place in the competition’s third challenge, also winning Dh1.2 million.

Competition categories

Challenge one required teams to build an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to locate, track, and land on a moving vehicle.

Challenge two required teams to build an unmanned ground vehicle to locate and reach a panel, and to then operate a valve system on the panel.

Challenge three required teams to build more than one UAV to work together to search, locate, track and to pick and place several static objects.

The grand challenge required the teams to simultaneously combine all three challenges together in one go.