Muscat, The Gulf Observer: In a significant stride towards promoting technological innovation and fostering youth participation, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos University and key industry supporters including Ooredoo Oman, OQ, the Sohar Industrial Port Company, the Omani Liquefied Natural Gas Company, and the Oman Horizon Company, initiated the final qualifiers for the Oman Artificial Intelligence Drone Competition. The event commenced on Monday and is poised to showcase the skills and capabilities of 26 students from diverse universities and colleges across the Sultanate of Oman.
The competition, which garnered attention from over 120 participants during the preparatory workshops, aims to raise community awareness about drones and their multifaceted applications. More than just a contest, it serves as a platform to refine the skills of participants in drone assembly, control, and flight, while integrating them with the complexities of artificial intelligence systems.
Two distinct tracks define the final stage of the competition. The first, the “Manual Control” track, sees 16 participants utilizing manual remote controls to maneuver drones through a simulated industrial facility. The tasks assigned mirror real-world applications, contributing to the practical experience of the participants.
The second track, titled “Autonomous Control Enhanced by Artificial Intelligence,” features 10 participants programming drones using artificial intelligence tools and the Python language. This autonomous approach requires participants to design and implement algorithms that enable drones to independently inspect and track industrial facilities within the designated flying arena, without human intervention.
The competition serves broader objectives, aiming to empower Omani youth to actively contribute to technical solutions, thereby aiding in the development of an economic market and job creation in the drone industry. Successful participants are expected to be well-equipped to compete in regional and international competitions, underscoring Oman’s commitment to nurturing talent in emerging fields.
The rigorous selection process saw 50 participants qualify for the competition’s training camp, ultimately leading to the final selection of 26 contestants for the ultimate stage of the Oman Artificial Intelligence Drone Competition. The initiative not only underscores the Sultanate’s commitment to technological advancement but also positions the participating youth as potential leaders in the burgeoning field of drone technology.