Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge 2020



The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) is an international robotics competition held by the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, with a prize pool and team sponsorship worth of 5 Million USD.

Following our team's great success in the previous round (2017), we are heading to the next finals in February 2020 with the highest ambitions. The competition is fierce, as only 31 teams out of 200 managed to advance into the finals. Our team managed to secure the first place in the selection round.

Competition overview

The MBZIRC 2020 challenges are motivated by pushing technological and application boundaries in robotics. The technological challenges addressed in the MBZIRC 2020 Challenges include, fast autonomous navigation in semi-unstructured, complex, dynamic environments, with reduced visibility (e.g. smoke) and minimal prior knowledge, robust perception and tracking dynamic objects in 3D, sensing and avoiding obstacles, GPS denied navigation in indoor-outdoor environments, physical interactions, complex mobile manipulations, and air-surface collaboration.

Challenge 1

A team of UAVs will autonomously track and interact with a set of objects (for example intruder UAVs) following 3D trajectories inside the arena. Challenge 1 is motivated by UAV safety, where the team UAVs will attempt to capture and neutralize intruder UAVs inside the arena.

Challenge 2

A team of UAVs and a UGV will collaborate to autonomously locate, pick, transport and assemble different types of brick shaped objects to build pre-defined structures, in an outdoor environment. Challenge 2 is motivated by construction automation and autonomous robot based 3D printing of large structures.

Challenge 3

A team of UAVs and a UGV will collaborate to autonomously extinguish a series of simulated fires in an urban high rise building firefighting scenario. Challenge 3 is motivated by the use of robots for urban firefighting, and requires the team of robots to collaborate to autonomously carry out a series of urban firefighting related tasks in an outdoor-indoor environment.

The Grand Challenge

A triathlon-style event combining all three previous challenges, which are to be solved simultaneously.



The team

Team members

  • Czech Technical University (CTU)

    • Dr. Martin Saska - Team Lead, Senior Researcher
    • Dr. Petr Štěpán - Senior Researcher
    • Dr. Tomáš Krajník - Senior Researcher
    • Tomáš Báča - PhD Student
    • Vojtěch Spurný - PhD Student
    • Robert Pěnička - PhD Student
    • Viktor Walter - PhD Student
    • Daniel Heřt - Research Fellow
    • Matěj Petrlík - PhD Student
    • Matouš Vrba - PhD Student
    • Petr Štibinger - PhD Student
    • George Broughton - PhD Student
    • David Žaitlík - Research Fellow
    • Yurii Stasinchuk - Undergraduate Student & Research Fellow
    • Václav Pritzl - Master Student
    • Jan Bednář - Master Student
    • Filip Majer - Master Student
    • Daniel Smrčka - Master Student
  • University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

    • Dinesh Thakur - Research Specialist
    • Alex Zhou - Research Staff
  • New York University (NYU)

    • Dr. Giuseppe Loianno - Assistant Professor
    • Anthony Wang - Research Staff
    • Kshitij Jindal - Research Staff
  • SoftServe, Inc. (associtated partner)

    • Olha Hrytsay, Director of Robotics and Advanced Technology Programs
    • Roman Hrubnyk, Principal Data Scientist
    • Dr. Lyubomyr Demkiv, Robotics Lead
    • Andriy Kusyy, Lead Data Scientist
    • Marko Kostiv, Lead Data Scientist
    • Markiian Matsiuk, Robotics Engineer
    • Nikita Kiselov, Robotics Engineer
    • Oleh Datsiv, ML Engineer
    • Danylo Snahoshchenko, ML Engineer
    • Yuriy Pryyma, Data Scientist


Our team aims to compete in all three listed challenges. This section contains our progress video reports documenting our advances in solving the challenges.



MRS highlights from MBZIRC 2017

Fastest fully autonomous landing on a moving car during the entire competition.
System verification in challenging desert environment prior to the competition.
Highest score in autonomous grasping of magnetic objects by a team of UAVs.

Featured technologies

Hunting an intruder drone with autonomous UAV.
Aggressive flight with suspended payloads using vision-based control.
Robust stereo visual inertial odometry for fast autonomous flight.

Media coverage of our MBZIRC 2020 participation:

Události ČT: Mezinárodní kybernetická soutěž s účastí Čechů Česká televize [Czech]
Studio 6: České drony obhajují vítězství v SAE Česká televize [Czech]
Tým ČVUT se v únoru zúčastní mezinárodní soutěže dronů v Abú Zabí České noviny [Czech]
České autonomní drony budou soutěžit o milion dolarů Prima [Czech]
Drony z FEL ČVUT v Praze budou v Abú Dhabí obhajovat vítězství a utkají se o hlavní cenu Magnet Press [Czech]
Drony z Fakulty elektrotechnické ČVUT v Praze budou obhajovat vítězství v Abu Dhabi Parlamentní listy [Czech]
Staví zdi i hasí. Drony z ČVUT budou soutěžit s elitou Česká televize (ČT24) [Czech]
Prague university team to fight in drone contest in Abu Dhabi [English]
Studenti ČVUT předvedli, co umí autonomní drony. Za rok budou soutěžit v Abu Dhabi o milion dolarů SeznamZprávy [Czech]