University of Bonn wins $1m MBZIRC

University of Bonn wins $1m MBZIRC
MBZIRC tasked teams with completing various challenges using robot aerial and ground vehicles.
Published: 20 March 2017 - 2:45 p.m.
By: Mark Sutton

The University of Bonn has won the grand prize in the first ever Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), which took place in Abu Dhabi at the weekend.

The NimbRo team from University of Bonn took home the $1m prize for winning the grand challenge at the event at Yas Island Marina Circuit.

A total of 26 teams from 15 countries competed in the debut 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,

The MBRZIC comprised three separate challenges, with a different robotics task in each challenge, and a grand challenge that combined all three tasks.

The first challenge was to land an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on a moving vehicle; the second challenge tasked teams to use an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to locate, identify and close a valve in a mock industrial setup; and the third challenge required a team of UAVs to collaborate to search, locate, track, pick and place a set of static and moving objects.

University of Bonn won the grand challenge, which required a team of robots to tackle all three tasks, as well as the second challenge.

Fly Eagle team from the Beijing Institute of Technology won the first challenge, and a combined team from Czech Technical University in Prague, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Lincoln won the third challenge.

The competition was followed by a conference yesterday, where participants in MBZIRC shared their success stories. The workshop sessions, held at Khalifa University Auditorium in Abu Dhabi, included presentations on the use of robotics in disaster work and oceanic research, the history and importance of robotics competitions and other academic research into robotics.

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."

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