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Abu Dhabi hosts UAV and USV technology challenge

28th September 2021 - 14:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge seeks to find solutions to autonomous technology problems. (Photo: ASPIRE)

The MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge 2023 will assess swarming drone technology in GNSS-denied environments.

Abu Dhabi-based technology research organisation ASPIRE announced the 2023 Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) Maritime Grand Challenge on 28 September to explore real-time solutions to maritime safety and security challenges.

The competition has a prize fund of more than $3 million.

The Grand Challenge is held every two years and aims to foster innovation and technical excellence in robotics, by taking technology out of the laboratory and into the field.

This time, the competition will involve a ‘heterogeneous collaboration among unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] and unmanned surface vehicles [USVs]’, ASPIRE noted, in order to identify a target vessel from several similar vessels in open waters in a GNSS-denied environment, and to offload specific items from the target onto a USV in the shortest possible time using autonomous technologies.

Dr Arthur Morrish, chief executive of ASPIRE, described this as a new kind of kind of exercise in autonomous robotics.

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