Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 19, 2017 -International robotics experts shared insights on the future of robotics, expected challenges, and impacts on science and social development during a workshop conducted today (Sunday, March 19, 2017) after the conclusion of the inaugural Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) that took place from March 16 to 18 at the Yas Island Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Participants of MBZIRC 2017 shared their preparations and major achievements for the competition, while the winners of the four Challenges revealed the stories behind their success as part of the workshop held at the Khalifa University Auditorium in Abu Dhabi.
The morning sessions featured talks on ‘Disaster Robotics Challenge’ by Prof. Satoshi Tadokoro from the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Japan; ‘Robotic Divers for Oceanic Discovery’ by Prof. Oussama Khatib from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, USA; ‘Twenty Years of Research Driven By Robot Competitions’ by Prof. Pedro Lima from the Institute for Systems and Robotics, University of Lisbon, Portugal; and ‘Robotics Competitions: Singapore Perspectives’ by Prof. Marcelo H. Ang Jr. from the National University of Singapore.
The afternoon sessions, on the other hand, covered‘Techniques for Mobile Robot Perception and Navigation and Beyond’ by Prof. Wolfram Burgard from Albert Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany; ‘Robots That Need to Mislead: Biologically-inspired Machine Deception’ by Prof. Ronald Arkin from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA; ‘UK-RAS Robotics and Autonomous Systems Shaping the Future’ by Prof. Guang-Zhong Yang from the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computing, The Hamlyn Centre, IMPERIAL COLLEGE, UK; and ‘The BioRobotics Institute: A Place Where Robotics Takes Flight’ by Prof. Paolo Dario from The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.
A Panel Discussion at the end of the workshop discussed challenges and plans for MBZIRC 2019 as well.
Dr Mohammed Ebrahim Al Mualla, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs of Higher Education, General Chair of MBZIRC organizing committee and member of the steering committee said: “The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge is being introduced to spur a new wave of enthusiasm – especially from the Arab World – in further developing the robotics field to address tomorrow’s issues and obstacles. It’s impact thus goes beyond the three-day competitions, which is why we prioritized a post-event workshop as part of the agenda to emphasize that work will continue on taking robotics to the next level. We invite those interested in the future of this exciting and transformative field to join us for the sessions. We also welcome those who dream of competing in future editions of MBZIRC so they can find out what it takes to be a winner in one of the most intense robotics competitions in the world.”
The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge is a biennial robotics competition that aims to establish the capital of Abu Dhabi and UAE as centers of robotics and advanced research. A total of 26 teams from 15 countries competed in the debuting event held under the patronage of H.H. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and with the support of the Information and Communication Technology Fund (ICTF) and TRA, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and Norinco.