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14 April 2024

Over 1,700 students competing in artificial intelligence and robot competitions

Photo: WAM


H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, opened the activities of the 6th national championship of the series of artificial intelligence, AI, and robot competitions 2020, organised by the Ministry of Education at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the competition drew the attendance of 1,789 male and female students from various educational cycles in government and private schools to win, qualify and represent the UAE in 12 regional and global championships held throughout the year 2020 in the USA, Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and Egypt.

H.H. Sheikh Khalid highlighted the need for empowering young generations with tools of the modern age, adding that AI and robots are key to the progress and advancement of nations.

In his speech at the launch, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said the competitions, launched by Sheikh Mansour in 2005, have become a platform for students to learn advanced sciences, as the knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM, will sharpen their competitiveness at international championships.

As part of its preparations "2020: Towards the next 50", he said the Ministry would introduce a modern learning system which will produce qualitative outcomes for generations who will pursue the development journey, launched by the founding fathers.

The Artificial Intelligence and Robot Competition series consists of 28 categories within these national and global championships: VEX Robot Championship, ROV Submarine Championship, FIRST Robot Championship, FIRST Robot Championship, Robocop Jr Robot Championship, HGP Motor Championship, FWT Aircraft Championship, Creative Innovation Championship, and Mini-Programmer’s championship.

The qualifying competition for the championship, which lasted for three months, and concluded last January, attracted 7,144 students from various government and private schools. The preparation and training sessions totalled 3,918 hours, of which participants spent 2,680 hours in specialised centres, 876 hours in closed camps, and 362 hours in field training visits.

Abu Dhabi topped the list of participants with 1,178 students, which is 16.49 percent of the total participants, followed by Sharjah with 1,049 students, Fujairah with 761 students, Ras Al Khaimah with 585 male and female students, Dubai with 549 male and female students, Ajman with 290 male and female students, and finally Umm Al Qaiwain with 154 male and female students.

Governmental schools took the largest share of student participation in the qualifying rounds by 60.81 percent, representing 4,344 male and female students, compared to 39.19 percent, representing 2,800 male and female students from private schools. Female students outperformed male students with a participation rate of 65.03 percent, representing 4,646 female students, compared to 34.97 percent for 2,488 male students.

The students participating in the national championship of the series of artificial intelligence and robot competitions this year represent 260 governmental schools, 28 private schools, and four universities, which are Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University, University of Sharjah, Canadian University in Dubai, as well as 17 kindergartens and three schools teaching disabled people.

At a discussion session on the first day, three working papers were discussed featuring Dr. Amy Aiguchi, Vice President and Representative Robocop Junior, Dr. Karim Yousry Mohamed, Robocop expert, Regional Centre for Informatics at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport - Training Department, and Professor Daniela Dimova, Director of International Field Operations FIRST.