Virginia Tech’s Team VICTOR competed against top universities in the international, inaugural Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, held in Abu Dhabi March 16-18.
The $5 million competition aimed to catalyze the development of autonomous robotics. Virginia Tech’s Team VICTOR, housed in the Wendy and Norris E. Mitchell ’58 Robotics Laboratory, was one of 25 teams out of 143 applicants from around the world invited to compete, and one of 15 to be sponsored by Khalifa University, the competition organizer.
After three intensive days of competition, Team VICTOR ended with an eighth-place finish in the first challenge and a spot in the grand challenge competition of MBZIRC, where they were one of 14 teams with the opportunity to tackle several complex tasks at once.
“Now that we have demonstrated what our robots can do on a global stage, we are ready to transfer the technologies, especially to newly opening markets such as the robotic delivery business and the smart warehousing and manufacturing business,” said Tomonari Furukawa, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and advisor to Team VICTOR. “We plan to open source the drones and mobile manipulator, because at the end of the day, we always aim to create technology that may benefit society.”