Dubai will host the ‘2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge’ in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence from October 24 to 27, 2019 at Festival Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The 2019 FIRST Global Challenge brings attention to ocean pollutants in order to educate ourselves and take action to preserve our oceans and wildlife. The event will bring together more than 1,500 youth from over 191 countries. Organized by the Dubai Future Foundation under the theme Ocean Opportunities, the Challenge focuses on developing robots to clean up the millions of tons of pollutants in the oceans. Each team receives a robotic kit and is tasked with assembling a robot able to address various issues related to ocean and marine life.

Two competing alliances, each comprised of three teams from different nations, work to clear the ocean-like playing field of pollutants. Cleanup Crews have two (2) minutes and thirty (30) seconds to collect pollutants, deliver them to processing areas, and finally remove their robots, also known as collectors, from the simulated ocean.

Prior to the start of the match, each side of the playing field is covered in pollutants randomly distributed. A total of thirty (30) micro pollutants and fifty (50) macro pollutants, represented by small and large foam balls, litter the ocean. Cleanup Crews score points by transferring pollutants to two types of processing areas located in the ocean—the processing barge and the reduction processing hub.

The processing barge, located in the center of the ocean, is divided into to a blue alliance side and a red alliance side. Collectors score points by depositing pollutants on the three levels, each representing different degrees of processing. As the levels progress from lowest to highest, the point value increases.

  • Recovery – the lowest level, where pollutants are removed from the ocean and contained in an alternative environment
  • Recycle – the middle level, where pollutants are converted into new products
  • Reuse – the highest level, where pollutants are reused for their original purpose

Reduction processing hubs, one for each alliance, are located in the corners of the ocean. Collectors score points by depositing pollutants into these zones. Human players can assist their alliance in cleaning the ocean by retrieving pollutants from the reduction processing hub and loading them onto alliance collectors.

Additional points can be earned for each collector that removes itself from the ocean at the end of the match by docking on the processing barge.

  • Partially docked collectors are in contact with the processing barge ramp
  • Fully docked collectors are fully supported by the processing barge ramp and do not touch the ocean
  • Elevated docked collectors hang from a rail surrounding the recycle level of the processing barge and are not in contact with the ocean or ramp

While each nation is responsible for keeping its own shoreline clear of pollutants, they must join forces to protect the ocean. The only way to take on this challenge is for nations to work together towards this common goal. Cleanup Crews that collaborate to remove all pollutants from the ocean by the end of the match each receive a Cooperation Bonus.

The alliance that scores the most points by the end of the match is declared the winner of that match.

The UAE won the bid to host the Challenge at the 7th World Government Summit in Dubai last February in the presence of Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation.

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