Organizers for the upcoming Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), United Arab Emirates based Khalifa University, have announced that they began receiving proposals for the innovative robotics challenge starting on September 7, and will continue receiving them until the November 7 deadline. This follows the recent invitation to indicate Intent to Participate that was issued in May.
The Call for Proposals requires teams to submit their proposals to participate in the three Challenges and the triathlon style "Grand Challenge". The challenges will take place in an outdoor open arena. Challenge 1 requires an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to locate, track and land on top of a moving ground vehicle. Challenge 2 requires an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to locate and reach a second ground vehicle, and locate and physically operate a valve on a side of the vehicle. Challenge 3 requires a team of UAVs to collaborate to search, locate, track, pick and place a set of static and moving objects. The Grand Challenge requires a team of robots (UAVs and UGVs) to compete in an event that combines Challenges 1, 2 and 3.
To date, 316 teams from 163 institutions in 45 countries have expressed their intent to participate in the Challenge, which is scheduled to take place in 2017, and boasts prizes and team sponsorship totaling $5 million USD.
"We were pleased with the response we've received for this challenge and are looking forward to the proposals," said Dr. Mohammed Al Mualla, Khalifa University's Senior Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. "This is an exciting challenge, and will certainly give competitors an opportunity to display their capabilities to the world, so it's wonderful to receive so many responses from so many different countries. The representation across academia and industry is also encouraging, as the innovations created by our contestants will no doubt have widespread effects on the field of robotics and determine how new technologies are applied in the future. We are looking forward to seeing the proposals these teams will put forward, and are eagerly awaiting the challenge in 2017."