Robotics competition goes underwater


(China Daily) Dalian, Liaoning province, will accelerate the construction of the country’s first intelligent marine equipment base on the real sea areas in Dalian Jinpu New Area, a city official said during a summit on AI and underwater robots held on Sunday.


“We will integrate domestic universities and superior industrial resources to carry out high-level scientific research and technological development related to underwater robots, and promote the design, research and development of underwater robots and industrial incubation,” said Zhang Zhihong, vice-mayor of Dalian.


The 2020 China Underwater Robot Professional Contest was held from Sept 18 to 20 in Dalian. Initiated in 2017, it is said to be the first intelligent underwater robot competition to be held in a real offshore environment.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are 290 groups and 170 individuals participating online in this year’s contest for object identification. Only 20 groups competed in the open water.


Despite the difficulties, participating teams made great improvements and breakthroughs, said Luo Zhongxuan, assistant to president of the Dalian University of Technology.


Co-sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Dalian municipal government, and the Pengcheng Laboratory, this year’s contest was hosted by Dalian Science and Technology Bureau, DUT, Dalian Jinpu New Area, and Dalian Jinshitan National Tourism Resort.


The host city, Dalian, which boasts one-10th of the country’s coastline, has a solid scientific research foundation in the development of underwater robots, with a number of universities and research institutions engaged in research, including DUT and Dalian Maritime University.


The local government has given financial support to the contest for years. A key laboratory for underwater robots was set up at DUT, as a key support project.


The municipal government plans to spend 30 million yuan ($4.4 million) a year for five consecutive years, said Zhang, the vice-mayor.


Source: By Zhang Xiaomin in Dalian, Liaoning | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-09-23 13:55 

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