XPrize is one of the best examples of big-picture thinking. Following multi-million dollar competitions to put private spacecraft on the moon, reimagine CO2 and tackle illiteracy in the developing world, the organization has just announced a new initiative to accelerate the development of real-life robotic avatars, which could one day be used to carry out tasks like caregiving or disaster relief from miles away.
Earlier this week the company introduced that the ANA Avatar XPrize will offer $10 million (USD) in prize money to usher in an era where telepresence robots can be used to transplant human skills to any place in the world, at any time.
To claim the $8 million grand prize, the winning team will need to demonstrate a multipurpose robotic avatar that an untrained operator can use to complete various tasks for at least 100 km away. It includes an ability to see, hear, touch and interact with its environment so that it can effectively assist people regardless of location be it through caregiving, disaster relief, or specialized trade skills for maintenance or repair.
"Our ability to physically experience another geographic location, or to provide on-the-ground assistance where needed, is limited by cost and the simple availability of time," said XPrize Founder and Executive Chairman Peter Diamandis. "The ANA Avatar XPrize can enable the creation of an audacious alternative that could bypass these limitations allowing us to more rapidly and efficiently distribute skill and hands-on expertise to distant geographic locations where they are needed, bridging the gap between distance, time and cultures."
The timeline for the ANA Avatar XPrize has the registration deadline listed on October 31, 2018, with competing teams needing to submit a complete competition plan by January 31, 2019.
You can check out the promo video for the ANA Avatar XPrize below.