At the end of Simulation phase, up to five finalist teams will proceed to the Demonstration Phase. The teams proceeding to Demonstration Phase will split USD 500,000 equally among them. The five finalist teams proceeding to Demonstration Phase will also be provided with a USV and a robotic arm by ASPIRE. The robotic arm can be selected by the team, with a value up to USD 50,000. The finalist teams will return the USV and robotic arm to ASPIRE after the completion of Demonstration Phase. No other funding or sponsorship will be provided by the organisers.

Partial, unclear image of the vessel(s) will be provided, possibly from various angles. Further details will be provided during the annoucement of the semi-finalists.


Yes. However, teams must return the USV and Robotic arm in good working condition after the conclusion of the final demonstration.

Each Team will own the IP (Intellectual Property) in its Team Technology. However, acceptance of a prize in Demonstration Phase is conditional on the Teams granting to ASPIRE and its Affiliates a nonexclusive, sub-licensable, perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide licence to use and exploit the intellectual property in the Team Technology for any purpose. Further details relating to this licence will be contained in the Competitor Agreement.

For six months after the conclusion of the Challenge, each finalist Team shall grant ASPIRE a first right of refusal to negotiate the purchase of an exclusive licence over the intellectual property in the Team Technology. Further details related to the first right of refusal will be contained in the Competitor Agreement.

At ASPIRE, we are seeking the most talented teams and technologies to help address illegal fishing and smuggling in waterways around the world - and we want to play a role in applying the innovations created from the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge. The top three prize winners will grant to ASPIRE a non-exclusive license (with sub-licensing rights) to use the IP, which will enable us to play a key role in addressing these real-life maritime problems. ASPIRE will not take any ownership rights in the IP created by teams as part of the challenge. Any IP created by participating teams will remain owned by those teams, including the rights to commercialise and exploit the IP. There will be no changes to this proposed ownership and licensing structure.

Any communication to a device that is not part of the USV+UAV Swarm

Any communication to a device that is part of the USV+UAV Swarm

An environment where the Global Navigation Satellite System is not available

One member of each team should register. There is no advantage to be gained from registration by more than one member. Successful registration provides access to white paper submission portal and a link to join the discussion board. Full details of the team and its members should be described in the white paper.

Each team should have at least one member. There is no upper limit to the number of members in a team.

The total area where final demonstration will take place is about 10 sq. km. A more accurate estimate will be provided during the annoucement of the finalists preceding the Demonstration Phase

The USV can be used as a "portable infrastructure" for intra-system (USV+UAV Swarm) communication.

Participants may use other techniques with coloured visual imagery being a compulsory component.

Under 10 vessels

1 or 2 vessels

This information will not be revealed prior to the Demonstration Phase.

Boundary marking details will be provided at the beginning of Simulation Phase. For the white paper, the participants may assume any convenient boundary marking mechanism.

Inspection and identification of multiple target vessels can be carried out in parallel. However, once a target vessel is identified, the intervention tasks on that vessel have to be carried out in sequence.

Information about target vessel(s) and objects to be picked up will be provided to the teams in an intelligence report by the organisers. The details and format of this intelligence report will be provided at the beginning of the Simulation Phase.

  • Once a target vessel is identified, the UAV+USV system transmits the following information to the command centre:
  • A live video stream marking and labeling the target vessel and a boolean interaction mechanism for the operator to convey 'yes' or 'no'
  • If the target vessel is confirmed by the operator as 'yes', the live video stream should then identify and mark the objects for intervention task along with a boolean for the operator to confirm the objects as 'yes' or 'no'. This activity must be done in sequence; first the small object and then the big object.

Yes. The mounting of the robotic arm and its operation to ensure successful completion of the intervention task is an important part of the challenge.


It is ideal to assume a real life scenario where the object could be anything.

The small object must be picked up and deposited by the UAVs.

The large object has to be moved by the UAVs and picked up and deposited by the robotic arm from the target vessel onto the USV.

Up until the end of the White Paper Phase, there is no limit on the type of USVs that can be used. Any limitations will be announced at the beginning of the Simulation Phase.

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