The UN is increasingly exploring using robots for surveillance, security, and humanitarian operations, with several pilot projects underway.
On 24 October 2023, UN Day, the United Nations Global Service Centre, a pioneer in transformative technologies for the UN System, will bring this timely field to the public, engaging youth and civil society in a deeper understanding of technology, peace, and development.
Hosted in Valencia’s iconic City of Arts and Sciences, the multifaceted UN Day event will center on a robotics competition and feature a humanitarian fair and musical presentation.
With 137 student teams registered from 53 public and private schools, hailing from the cities of Alicante, Castellon, and Valencia, this unique event has drawn the interest of academia and officials from across the region.
Aimed at deepening students’ knowledge of STEM and challenging their creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, the teams will be tasked to design robots capable of responding to the needs of UN Field Missions.
Utilizing identical robot kits purchased by the UN and distributed to the local schools, the students’ robots will need to maneuver around a course, push and lift objects, sense and avoid obstacles, demonstrate logistics and sorting capabilities, and showcase rapid response.
Adding to the rigor of the competition, a strict time limit will be imposed.
Alongside the competition, a humanitarian fair featuring UN entities and NGOs will be present to engage with both participants and passersby.
Organized under the auspices of UNGSC in Valencia (formally known as the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Facility or UNICTF) and in cooperation with the local government of Valencia, the event will be opened by high-level officials including the President of the Generalitat of Valencia and feature a musical presentation by the Berklee School of Music.
UNGSC wishes all the competitors much success and looks forward to celebrating UN Day in the spirit of innovation!