Sounding a little like an Olympic Games for robots, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince, has announced the inaugural World Future Sports Games will take place in Dubai next year.
Featuring 'sports' like driverless car racing, robotic swimming, table tennis and soccer, running, wrestling, drone racing and a cybathlon (a competition for Robot-Assisted human athletes - check out the inspiring video below), it promises to be a revolutionary event when it takes place in December 2017.
The competition was announced hot on the heels of the first ever World Drone Prix, which saw a British teenager take home the crown from the event at Skydive Dubai this past weekend.
In what sounds unerring like Robert Wars, that cult British TV show (and latterly in the USA) which dominated TV screens in the late 1990s, the Games will be organised by a newly-formed World Federation of Future Sports. Humans will both feature 'beind the controls' but also directly.
Being held in part to inspire innovation and competitive spirit in researchers, professionals and youngsters, the global 'recruitment' campaign will start in earnest shortly. According to The National, it is hoped the event will create economic value worth billions of dollars.
"Today we start a new phase in our march to the future through the launch of these unique initiatives that are built on the success of our global platforms, the UAE Drones for Good Award and UAE AI and Robotics Award for Good," said Sheikh Hamdan in the announcement.
“Over the past two years, these platforms have attracted thousands of entries and hundreds of teams from around the world to strengthen the position of the UAE in the field of innovation at the global level.
“Innovation in sports is an important part of building the UAE innovation system and achieving our vision to enhance the advanced status of the UAE in this area at the international level."
Dubai does, of course, already have camel racing with robots, but the World Future Sports Games will more than crank that up a notch. Take for example a Cybathalon, the first ever of which takes place later this year in Switzerland, pitting individuals with physical disabilities armed with the latest robotic technologies against one another in a range of events.
The Games will run in Dubai from December 28 to 30.
SO WHAT COULD BE IN STORE...
Time Out Dubai had a rummage around YouTube to discover some examples of the events listed as potential disciplines in the World Future Sports Games.
Robotic table tennis