November 24th, 2015: A team of engineering students from Canadian University Dubai has triumphed in the UAE national finals of the GCC Robotics Challenge. Ahmed Farrag, Amro Mosaad, Ahmad Nofal, Nikita Mankovskii and Khawla Bouhemady successfully negotiated a range of technical challenges to take away the winners’ trophy.
Hosted by the Emirates Science Club, the national stage of the contest brought together groups of students from across the UAE to assemble and program their robotic kits to effectively complete a range of remote-control and autonomous tasks, set within time and space constraints.
Themed around the participating countries, each of the tasks called upon the teams’ academic and technical expertise to build innovative and robust devices and develop creative and efficient solutions to specific robotic challenges.
The 2020 World Cup was the inspiration for the Qatar-related challenge, which required the contenders to develop a remote control robot that could hit a ball into a guarded net. The Dubai-related test, meanwhile, required the teams to program their robots to navigate along a prescribed path around a scaled down map of some of Dubai’s famous landmarks.
Mentored by Dr. Sherif Moussa, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, the CUD Robotics Club has only recently been established, and the team was competing for the very first time in an event of this kind.
Surprised to triumph against some veteran competition challengers, founder of the club, Ahmed, said, “We are all new to the field of robotics, but our professors encouraged us to explore the technology to help broaden our engineering experience. We had a lot to learn in a short space of time for the competition, but our preparation ultimately paid off.”
As robotics play and increasing role in everyday life, from simple sensor-based devices to machines with artificial intelligence capabilities, the GCC region is emerging as a hub for the adoption of innovations in the field, with some of the latest products being used in manufacturing, service industries, and wider civic life.
Among the other winning team members, third year engineering student Khawla said, “The competition was a great experience – both fun and educational. I found myself spending hours experimenting with the robots and exploring how they could be built and programmed for so many different functions. The real-world capabilities are fascinating, and getting this hands-on experience will be extremely valuable in the future.”
The team will now go up against competitors from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman in the grand finale of the regional competition.