Krypto Labs, the global innovation hub based in Abu Dhabi, has announced the winners of the US$1million final prize of Drone X Challenge (DXC) 2020, a global challenge that is pushing the frontiers of drone technology focusing on transportation and delivery.
As the first-of-its-kind program in the region, DXC 2020 aimed at seeking multi-rotor and fixed-wing drones capable of particular design specifications that were non-existent in the commercial market. With the objective to develop such drones, DXC 2020 capitalized on global startups that already had the baseline technology and skillset, with the capability and willingness to pivot their technology to meet the technical requirements of the challenge.
The winners, which were collectively awarded the US$1 million final prize, are:
- ITRI, a team of engineers from the Industrial TechnologyResearch Institute of Taiwan that developed a multi-rotor hydrocarbon-powered drone capable of carrying a minimum payload of 50 Kg for 3hours.
- UAVITA, a startup based in Ukraine and Canada, that developed a fixed-wing hydrocarbon-powered drone capable of carrying a minimum payload of 50 Kg for 6 hours.
Launched in October 2018 and extended until January 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the challenge attracted more than 1,000 applications from 55 countries. Targeted at talented engineers, ambitious entrepreneurs, promising university students, R&D centres, and SMEs around the world, DXC 2020 facilitated for the teams to embark on a unique innovation journey from their own laboratories to design, develop and demonstrate their drone technologies.
In order to support the teams in accelerating the development of their technology through their own laboratories, a pool of US$320,000 in R&D grants was split among the shortlisted teams. This enabled the teams to pivot and fully develop their drones as per the challenge specifications.
Commenting on the challenge, Anas Zeineddine, Executive Director of Krypto Labs, said, “DXC 2020 aligns with our efforts in contributing to advancing next-generation drone technologies that can contribute to various strategic industries. By developing drones that can carry heavy payloads and endure long distances, we can truly revolutionize the traditional transportation and logistics industry, as well as disrupt other related sectors. By launching such innovation initiatives, we endeavor towards supporting startups, R&D centres, and established companies to continue leveraging disruptive technologies that can make an impact and serve humanity.”