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The Israeli Defense Ministry and U.S. Department of Defense joined forces with the Merage Institute, which promotes trade as a vehicle for economic growth between Israel and the United States, to hold the first-of-its-kind Mobile Standoff Autonomous Indoor Capabilities Challenge (MoSAIC).

Ariel University won first place on Wednesday in a tactical robotic systems competition, part of a wider event held this week in the southern Israeli town of Yeruham.

Twenty startup companies and other organizations, specializing in robotics and mini-drones, competed in the event, organized by the Israeli Defense Ministry and U.S. Department of Defense, as well as the Merage Institute, which promotes trade as a vehicle for economic growth between Israel and the United States.

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The event, the Mobile Standoff Autonomous Indoor Capabilities Challenge (MoSAIC), is the first of its kind.

Israeli companies Shield AI and Combat Ready both received second place in the robotic systems competition.

American company GSI won the object tagging competition.

Another U.S. company, EpiSci, which develops next-generation autonomous technologies for defense, aerospace and commercial applications, came first in the navigation competition, while American company Xanconnect won first place in the competition to detect humans indoors.

The competition incorporates robots and civilian drones in an urban setting in a three-story building in Yeruham, where the systems must overcome a range of obstacles and challenges.

“The winners will receive funding for further product development, gain access to American and Israeli government officials, and will be accepted into the Merge Institute in California’s prestigious startup program,” the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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