Khalifa University of Science and Technology today announced it has won the right to host the Middle East’s first-ever IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), one of the world’s largest and most impactful robotics research conferences, in Abu Dhabi in 2024.

The Khalifa University bid, submitted in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the UAE Ministry of Education, won against global competition from other leading international universities. Abu Dhabi’s status as a major conference destination, the emirate’s focus on supporting new technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence systems, Khalifa University’s Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute, and the Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KU-CARS), played a significant role in clinching the deal in favor of the university.

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “Following the successful hosting of the MBZIRC 2020 that brought international acclaim to Abu Dhabi, we feel privileged to have won the international bidding now in collaboration with other UAE Government institutions to bring IROS, one of the world’s largest and most impactful robotics research conferences, not only to Abu Dhabi but to the Middle East, for the first time. The IROS 2024 conference will help portray the UAE’s readiness to accept modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and Khalifa University’s involvement in furthering scientific innovation in this area. We believe the conference will substantially intensify adoption of robotic systems, machine learning and smart devices, while highlighting the advances made in this sector.”

Khalifa University continues to play an undeniably critical role in the advancement of robotics and machine intelligence technologies. In addition to launching the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute, the university also plans to offer new academic programs in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

Moreover, the university’s flagship KU-CARS has over 50 faculty and staff working on several diverse projects, while researchers are conducting groundbreaking research to discover new ways to advance robotics for extreme environments, industrial applications, and infrastructure inspection. KU-CARS also has state-of-the-art labs including a new Marine Robotics Pool and an Autonomous Car Lab. In addition to KU-CARS, other Khalifa University research centers that deploy intelligent systems include the Aerospace and Research Innovation Center (ARIC), and EBTIC.

Khalifa University’s initiatives in intelligence systems and robotics are in line with the UAE’s drive towards advancing the tide of progress in AI, deep learning and automation. The UAE is already exploring how public sector entities can leverage AI solutions in areas including cyber security, to detect and monitor malicious activity; behavioral analysis to aid police by predicting crimes; monitoring economic growth through time lapse satellite imagery; predicting climate change; and improving doctors’ abilities to provide accurate diagnoses.