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Emirates Robotics Competition Launched for University Students across UAE

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Dubai Future Labs, Dubai Future Foundation’s applied research and development lab specializing in robotics and artificial intelligence, has teamed up with the Rochester Institute of Technology and Khalifa University of Science and Technology to launch the Emirates Robotics Competition.

The competition aims to demonstrate the technological skills of young talents specialized in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technologies, while encouraging them boost their capacities and be part of the UAE’s efforts to be a global hub for robotics and AI technologies.

Teams are required to develop intelligent robotic perception systems that endow the robot with the ability to perceive, comprehend, and reason about the surrounding environment. The competition will include two challenges; the first one includes using the intelligent robots to autonomously perform pick-and-place of objects of varied sizes, shapes, and weights; while in the second challenge, competitors will use their intelligent robot to autonomously move over a track while observing rules and avoiding obstacles.

The Emirates Robotics Competition aims to bridge the gap between the current real robotic capabilities and the requirements of potential applications. It tests the skills of the university students, raises awareness of robotics, and promotes the development of the country’s youth.

Dr. Yousef Al Assaf, President of RIT Dubai said, “Digital transformation and its corresponding future technologies are critical to empower all of us to be ready for the future and support diversifying the economy and address societal shifts. Robotics is a main element in that and our vision at RIT Dubai is to make robotics one of the flagship research areas at the university especially when conjugated with AI and other converging technologies. We are excited to host the first Emirates Robotics Competition in February 2023. Through this competition, we aim to establish long-term engagements with academia and strategic partners in order to promote purposeful robotics solutions, machine learning, and automation.”

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “We are glad to partner with Dubai Future Foundation and the RIT to launch the Emirates Robotics Competition that challenges university students to design advanced robots. We have a wide experience in organizing international robotics challenges, and in driving innovation through the Khalifa University Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute (RISI), with research projects covering robotics, artificial intelligence, data science, next-generation networks, semiconductor technologies and cybersecurity. This makes us an ideal partner for this initiative. We remain committed to similar partnerships that not only inspire creativity but also help build local skill sets for a fast-expanding robotics and AI sector that impacts all economic areas in the UAE and across the world.”

Khalifa Al Qama, Director of Dubai Future Labs, said, “Robotics and AI technologies are a corner stone of the UAE’s vision to shape the future and maximize future opportunities in vital sectors through advanced technologies. The recently launched Dubai Robotics and Automation program aims to develop the robotics and automation technologies and increase this sector’s contribution to the UAE’s economy.”

“Though this partnership, we aim to encourage students to sharpen their skills and boost their creativity and innovation capabilities while ensuring that the next generation of talent is equipped with the skills required to succeed in the robotics and technology domains. This also establishes the position of the UAE as a global testbed for emerging technologies,” he added.

Teams of between 3-6 students are allowed to enter the competition, with each group supervised by a member of the university’s faculty.

Entry for the competition is now open till 30 November 2022. The competition will be hosted at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Dubai campus in Dubai Silicon Oasis on 23 February 2023. Participating teams will undergo an evaluation process, after which scores will be announced during a special event and cash prizes will be rewarded to the first three winners.

Students and universities are invited to submit their applications here