Team from Abu Dhabi University wins first place in EGA student industrial robotics competition

- Winning robot concept will be used at Emirates Global Aluminium smelters to capture thermal images of pot shells at its reduction area.

United Arab Emirates, 16 March 2020: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, today announced the winning team for the 2020 edition of Al Robot, a robotics competition that challenges students at universities and higher education institutions in the UAE to design and build industrial robots for use at EGA’s aluminium smelters.

The winning team was from Abu Dhabi University and competed against another team from the same university who came in second place, and student groups from American University of Sharjah came on third place.

Abu Dhabi University’s semi-autonomous robot concept will be used at Emirates Global Aluminium’s smelters to capture thermal images of pot shells at its reduction area, reducing the heat exposure to our technicians. The robot will also contribute to EGA’s ongoing drive to use big data and automate routine tasks throughout its operations and functions and capitalise on the opportunities of Industry 4.0.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, EGA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Big data, automation and robotics is playing an increasingly important role at EGA and in many other industries. Our objective with this competition is to engage bright young UAE minds in the global transformational potential of Industry 4.0, which promises to be vital to maintaining and extending competitiveness of UAE industry in the years ahead.”

EGA provided funding for the teams to design and build their robots, and the winners received an additional financial prize.

Abdulla Rashed, a student from the winning student team said: “This experience and competition has provided us with a great experience in manufacturing practical devices and equipment as we faced problems that are theoretically invisible. I was also able to explore and apply more applications in object recognition, neural networks, and 3D design and manufacturing. I encourage all students to participate in such competitions if they are interested in artificial intelligence and robotics.”

EGA ran a similar competition with UAE universities in 2017, to develop a robot for another application in its smelters.

EGA’s research and development team works extensively with universities in both the UAE and internationally. EGA’s academic partnerships include Khalifa University, the American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE, and the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

EGA has developed smelting technology in the UAE for more than 25 years. The company has used its own technology in every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and retrofitted all its older production lines.

EGA was the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally in 2016, in a major milestone in the development of a knowledge economy in the UAE.