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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

'Olympics' of robot-building comes to Dubai

More than 2,000 pupils from 193 countries will face off in October

Pupils will try to design robots that can help boost energy efficiency. Andy Wong / AP Photo
Pupils will try to design robots that can help boost energy efficiency. Andy Wong / AP Photo

An international Olympics style robot-making competition is coming to Dubai this year.

Schoolchildren from across the globe will be challenged to design robots that can help solve pressing global issues such was water security and energy efficiency.

More than 2,000 pupils from 193 countries are set to take part with the hope the event will encourage more into maths, technology and engineering.

Dean Kamen, founder of First Global, said the competition was an opportunity for pupils to make a positive contribution to the world.

"Hosting the First Global challenge in Dubai reaffirms the importance of this event in the design of robots, the further development of technology skills for young people and further reinforces Dubai's interest in this futuristic sector," he said.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks at the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. Perry on Sunday announced an upcoming robotics competition would be held in the United Arab Emirates later this year. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks at summit on Sunday. AP

The First Global Robotics Challenge will take place in October, after previous editions in the United States and Mexico. The 2017 competition focused on access to clean water. Robots were tasked with collecting clean and contaminated water, which were represented in the competition by coloured balls. Teamwork was also rewarded.

News of the event was announced at the World Government Summit on Sunday by Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

On stage on Monday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, appeared via hologram and said artificial intelligence and machine learning will make cities safer.

More details about the robot competition are expected to be announced in coming months.

Updated: February 11, 2019 05:44 PM

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