October 21, 2021
XPRIZE, which designs and operates incentive competitions to solve humanity’s biggest challenges, has announced that 15 teams from eight countries advanced to the finals round of the $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition.
Sponsored by All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, the Avatar XPRIZE is a four-year global competition focused on developing an avatar system that can deploy a human’s senses, actions and presence to a remote location in real time, leading to a more connected world. In the future, avatars could help provide critical care and deploy immediate responses in emergency situations, or offer opportunities for exploration and new ways of collaboration, stretching the boundaries of what is possible and maximizing the impact of skill and knowledge sharing. The avatars must demonstrate the ability to execute tasks across a variety of real-world scenarios and convey a sense of presence for both the operator and the recipient in those interactions.
“The possibility of living in a world where individuals can provide aid during a crisis in a different country without ever leaving the comfort of their homes is closer than ever,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE. “While it’s been difficult this year to predict what the future will bring for the evolving health landscape, these avatar solutions will solve real world problems and can bring people together in more ways than ever before. We’re looking forward to supporting these incredible Finalist teams competing in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE and their technology into the future.”
In September 2021, semifinalist teams brought their avatar systems to Miami, Fla., to be evaluated by a judging panel. Each team’s avatar had to demonstrate the ability to execute tasks across a variety of real-world scenarios, while conveying a sense of human presence for both the operator and the recipient in those interactions. The judges extensively reviewed the submissions and selected 15 finalists to advance out of a field of 37 semifinalist teams.
The Avatar-Hubo team and their robot avatar are from Las Vegas.
For the first time, XPRIZE is releasing the finalists in a ranking of how well each team met the competition’s scoring criteria. Listed in order of ranking are:
- NimbRo, Bonn, Germany
- Dragon Tree Labs, Moscow, Russia
- Team Northeastern, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- AVATRINA, Urbana, Illinois, United States
- Converge Robotics, Chico, California, United States
- Avatar-Hubo, Las Vegas, United States
- Cyberselves, Sheffield, United Kingdom
- Team SNU, Seoul, South Korea
- Pollen Robotics, Bordeaux, France
- Last Mile, Osaka, Japan
- Team UNIST, Ulsan, South Korea
- Inbiodroid, Irapuato, Mexico
- Rezilient, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- Touchlab, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- AvaDynamics, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
“We’re thrilled to announce the finalist teams moving forward in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, said David Locke, executive prize director of the competition. “The cutting-edge technology we witnessed at Semifinals Testing has the potential to entirely reimagine the human experience. We’re excited to see how teams further fine-tune their technology systems as we lead up to Finals Testing.”
The 15 finalist teams will equally share a milestone prize of $2 million, and move on to the finals testing in Fall 2022. The teams will compete to win a share of the $8 million finals prize purse, with the grand prize winners receiving $5 million, second and third place getting $2 million and $1 million.
Performance tests will be evaluated based on specific tasks that showcase the application of the avatar technologies across several use case scenarios. The winning team will integrate multiple emerging technologies to develop a physical, non-autonomous avatar system that its operator can see, hear and interact within a remote environment in a manner that feels as if they are truly there.
More details on the competition are available at the ANA Avatar XPRIZE website.