The drone exhibition in the Czech pavilion at the Dubai EXPO 2020 presents the future of robotics

Visitors to the Czech Republic's pavilion at the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in the United Arab Emirates have until 14 November 2021 the opportunity to see what forms robots may take a hundred years after the word was first used in Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. Six “aerial robots” from Multi-robot Systems group were at the centre of a gala presentation organised by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) on Sunday 31 October 2021 in Dubai. The Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Arab Emirates, HE Jiří Slavík, personally attended the meeting. To more than sixty guests from the domestic business and academic sphere, he presented the Czech Republic as a partner for business in the field of information technology and a promising destination for study.

The Czech Technical University in Prague was represented at the ceremony by its Vice-Rector for Foreign Affairs, Professor Oldřich Starý, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering by Associate Professor Jiří Jakovenko, Vice Dean for Master's and Combined Studies, and Associate Professor Martin Saska, Head of the Multi-robot Systems group, who guided the guests through the exposition and gave them an informed insight into the research and development of autonomous drones. The guests had a chance to see a presentation about CTU highlights as well as about study possibilities that was conducted by Erika Lahká from the Rectorate's department of PR and Marketing and its project Study at CTU.

The Multi-robot Systems (MRS) group, based at the Department of Cybernetics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, CTU in Prague, uses a unique technology for high-precision helicopter control, which is proving to be significantly the most reliable and successful of all competing solutions. The ability to fly very accurately and thus safely is crucial for deployment in a wide range of situations, especially in confined spaces and building interiors. The team has made significant progress in the development of these technologies over several years of intensive research in collaboration with the world's leading laboratories. Today's drones can move autonomously along a predetermined safe trajectory while avoiding unexpected obstacles.

The research team led by Martin Saska represents the world's leading workplace in the development of autonomously controlled drones. In the rotating exhibition of the Czech pavilion, the MRS group together with the Packeta group also presents a joint pilot project for autonomous drone delivery of parcels. The project, which is undergoing testing, could represent the future of parcel delivery. The drones could cooperate with other robots being developed by the Czech company Zásilkovna, which belongs to the Packeta group.

The invitation for MRS to attend the World EXPO, which is being held in an Arab country for the first time in its 170-year history, is no coincidence. “It was in the United Arab Emirates that we first established ourselves in an international context when we took part in the prestigious Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and won first and second place in individual disciplines. We were able to build on this success in the next edition in 2020, when we were also declared the overall winner of the competition,” said Martin Saska, who leads a team of about 30 roboticists. The MBZIRC competition is considered the unofficial world championship of drones.

The MRS group continues to be very active in the UAE. This spring, they tested a swarm of drones in the local desert for deployment in humanitarian Search & Rescue operations in the search for lost or injured persons. In collaboration with a local industry partner, MRS researchers are also exploring the possibility of involving drones in firefighting in the interiors of skyscrapers in the UAE.

In addition to drones designed for firefighting and parcel transfer, other robotic projects, such as those for capturing hostile drones or mapping interiors of historical monuments, represent technologies from the Faculty of Engineering at EXPO in Dubai.

For more information about the participation of the Multi-robot Systems group of FEE CTU and other parts of Czech Technical University at EXPO 2020, please visit the link