Abu Dhabi is hosting a global competition with a prize pot of more than $3 million to challenge innovators from all over the world to design autonomous drone systems for maritime safety and security.
Scheduled to be held in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates in June 2023, the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) will require a swarm of autonomous drones to identify a target vessel from several similar vessels in open waters in a GNSS-denied environment.
Competitors will be able to use between five and 20 drones to survey a defined area, which will have fewer than 10 boats, to identify one or more rogue vessels. To help identify the bad actor(s), partial or unclear images of the vessel(s) will be provided to the competitors, possibly from various angles.
In the second part of the challenge, competitors will be required to offload specific items from the target vessel onto an uncrewed surface vehicle in the shortest possible time…