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Robot UAVs Set To Revolutionize Abu Dhabi Maritime Patrols

In a few weeks, robotics experts will compete to create the best autonomous drone to detect criminals along Abu Dhabi’s coastline.



robot uavs set to revolutionize abu dhabi maritime patrols

This year, the Mohammed bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) Maritime Grand Challenge will pit five elite teams of robotics specialists against one another in the ultimate showdown.

Handpicked from a pool of 52 contenders, the scientists will gather on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, to solve real-world maritime issues, encompassing problems like illicit fishing, smuggling, and human trafficking, all through the deployment of autonomous drones. Launched in 2017 by Khalifa University, the competition is jointly hosted by ASPIRE and Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC).

The scientists’ missions will include tasks such as autonomous target inspection and identification aboard vessels without relying on GPS, object retrieval via drones, and seamless collaboration between UAVs and robotic manipulators.

Professor Lakmal Seneviratne, Director of the Centre for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS) at Khalifa University, remarked, “We can train our robots and AI to do many things in a very controlled environment,” adding, “For example, factory automation has been around since the 1980s in highly controlled environments. But when you go out into the real world, the uncertainty is huge. So the adaptability and algorithms of our robots are the key aspects to look at in this challenge”.

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Dr. Irfan Hussain, team leader of Fly Eagle, one of the finalists, explained that adaptability will be crucial to win the contest. “They have only a few days to adapt to the environment here, and many parameters are still unknown until the day of the challenge,” says Dr. Hussain. “So their algorithms and their approach need to be robust enough to complete the task regardless of the conditions”.

The unpredictability of the scenarios mirror real-world conditions at sea, where turbulent weather could hamper the missions of autonomous drones tasked with detecting illicit vessels, and GPS signals might also falter in such circumstances.

Come the first week of February, the five finalists will vie for a coveted first-place prize of $2 million to bring their groundbreaking innovations to production.


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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.



initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

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Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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