Khalifa University of Science and Technology is showcasing 13 research projects and innovative startups at the sixth edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) and Simulation and Training Exhibition (SIMTEX).
During the exhibitions, Khalifa University is displaying innovations including firefighting drones, a fleet of heterogeneous robotic systems, flight-lock physically-unclonable function (PUF) shield for chips, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) – based security system, Khalifa University Autonomous Car, aerial drones for precipitation enhancement through cloud measurements and seeding, and an intelligent systems-powered system for threat items detection.
Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said; “Khalifa University is delighted to showcase our key innovations at UMEX and SimTEX 2024. Our researchers continue to seek path-breaking solutions in Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV), unmanned systems, machine learning, and autonomous vehicle applications. We believe through our participation we highlight the innovative robotics and intelligent systems research that happens at Khalifa University and demonstrate the region’s advances in robotics and intelligent systems to stakeholders.”
One of the projects on display is the ‘Ocean Monitoring and Cleaning for Sustainable Marine Ecosystem’, a collaboration between Khalifa University Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS) and the Stanford Robotics Lab, which aims to develop underwater robots capable of monitoring and clearing plastic waste. KUCAR’s marine robots also inspect coral reefs and make aquafarm monitoring and interventions more efficient.
Project ZodiAq, featuring 12 flagella-inspired arms, is a multi-limbed underwater soft drone, centered around employing soft robotics for underwater applications, with a particular focus on locomotion, manipulation, and sensing.
The Khalifa University startup, FARMIN, is a smart agriculture platform, which uses near real-time insights from space and leverages satellite imagery, super resolution, and intelligent systems to continuously map entire farm fields and maximize farm production. The FlightLock PUF Shield involves evaluating the functionality of the system and assessing its security, to establish reliable and secure key types for optimal performance and security.
The fleet of aerial and marine heterogeneous robotic systems, developed by the KUCARS-BIT joint Team Fly Eagle will compete in the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge 2024. It consists of a fleet of UAVs, 1 USV and 1 Robotic Arm that will focus on ensuring maritime security in the Abu Dhabi coastline.
Other projects include aerial drones to improve cloud seeding and address water challenges caused by the dry climate, while a firefighting drone can be used in early-stage façade fires in high rise buildings. Other aerial robots which adapt in real-time to changes in their surrounding environments or changes to their own systems remain crucial for operations in strong winds, changing payloads, GPS-denied environments, and less visibility. This KUCARS project is currently being evolved to serve the market through a start-up, DroneLeaf, at the Khalifa Innovation Center (KIC).
The Houbara robot for behavioral studies in the field and sampling project is the result of a collaboration between KUCARS and the UAE-based International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), to develop a robot to aid Houbara bird conservation efforts. KUCARS has also collaborated with Technology Innovation Institute (TII) of Abu Dhabi to develop underwater drone swarms for ocean monitoring and inspection of underwater infrastructure.
The KU Self Drive Vehicle project which successfully operates a shuttle service at the KU Sas Al Nakhl campus evaluates and develops Autonomous Vehicles (AV) for UAE environments. Another project, the KU SmartEye Tech is an intelligent systems-powered for accurately detecting threat items in X-Ray baggage scans, while the FPGA- based security system utilizes an FPGA device to encrypt voice messages and conducts various security analyses.
Serving the UAE healthcare sector is the Mashyah – Motion Assessment Tool involves attaching sensors to individuals to measure and record motion, enabling prognosis assessment and quantification of motion for diagnostics and clinical decision making.