Young Moroccans take part in a beach cleaning robot project at the FIRST Global Championship

(Translated from Arabic)

A young Moroccan team took part in the third edition of the FIRST Global Challenge Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Championship 2019, which was held in Dubai from October 24 to 27, in a project to clean beaches using robots.

The project, which featured 1,500 competitors from 191 countries, was to clean the beaches using robots capable of picking up, disposing of garbage of small and large sizes and putting them into boxes in a simple and efficient way.

Yassin Lahlou, a 17-year-old team member, said the robot could maneuver through unstable surfaces like beaches, for example, to pick up 15 to 20 smaller pieces of garbage, including chocolate wrappers, cans and plastic cans, at a time. He raises it to a height of about 70 cm, then it can be easily disposed.

“We spent a lot of time traveling to meet each other on this project,” he told a news conference on the sidelines of the tournament. But meeting up for a much bigger cause than all of us is really what made us move on. After three months of hard work later, we are very proud of what we have achieved together. ”

This group of young Moroccans aged between 17 and 18 years, with robots and their installation, began to watch their favorite robotic characters save the world in animated films, but they never imagined that their efforts would contribute to the world taking a few steps towards achieving clean ocean around the world.

This year’s championship focused on the success of competing teams in developing robots capable of performing a range of tasks that support solutions to global efforts to protect and clean the oceans from millions of tons of waste and pollution sources affecting marine life and human health around the world.

The selection of teams participating in the World Championship was based on their results in a series of events that continued throughout the current year in various countries of the world during which a group of funds including electronic parts and parts were distributed to design and innovate a robot capable of providing successful solutions to a number of challenges and accomplishing various tasks identified through International academic bodies and specialized institutions.

This tournament saw an increase in the number of teams participating by 191 teams compared to 157 in the first edition.

The tournament first came out of North America after it began in the United States in 1989 as an internal competition and became an international in its first edition in 2017, before being hosted by Mexico last year.

As part of the 7th World Government Summit in February, the first edition of the FIRST Global Challenge, the world’s largest AI and robotics competition, was announced in Dubai, making it the first UAE in the region to host the tournament.

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