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45 finalists were chosen from over 316 teams from 47 countries
Abu Dhabi, 30 August 2016

Khalifa University announced Khalifa University, the organizer of the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), has revealed that teams from leading universities and international organizations will be participating in the upcoming challenge. The 45 finalists come from prestigious academic institutes such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the National University of Singapore, Xi'an Jiaotong University and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to name a few.  Other teams represent various organizations with an interest in robotics, such as the UAE’s Mohamed Bin Rashed Space Center, Accelerated Dynamics from the UK, and NaviRobot LLC from Russia. 

In addition to teams from the UAE, UK and USA, teams from Italy, Germany, KSA, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, South Korea, and Spain where chosen from over 316 teams from 45 countries, who expressed their interest in participating in the Challenge, which is scheduled to take place in 2017, with prizes totaling $5 million USD. 

“We were pleased with the response we’ve received for this challenge and I’m excited to see the finalists in action,” said Dr. Arif Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University. “This is a unique challenge that will certainly give competitors an opportunity to display their skills to the world. The representation from across academia and industry will make for some interesting innovations that 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 teams in action in 2017.”

He also said: “The Challenge aims at taking the advanced science and technology to new levels in order to push forward the innovation to new horizons. This, in turn, will help support both Abu Dhabi’s and UAE’s knowledge economy visions.”

MBZIRC will consist of three challenges and a triathlon type “Grand Challenge”. It will take place in an outdoor open arena the approximate size of a football pitch. They will require unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to locate, track and land on top of a moving ground vehicle, reach a second ground vehicle, locate and physically operate a valve on a side of the vehicle and collaborate with each other in order to search, locate, track, pick and place a set of static and moving objects.

MBZIRC will be held the first time in March 2017 after it was launched last year and it will be held every two years with a different theme that matches the level of innovation during the period it will be organized on.