XPRIZE Teams with ANA for a $10 Million Competition


XPRIZE, the non-profit organization known the world over for its competitions to encourage technological developments for the benefit of humanity, has teamed up with the Japanese All Nippon Airways (ANA) to announce a $10M competition to create robotic avatars that can be controlled remotely.

Peter Diamandis, founder chairman of XPRIZE, said that the competition is meant to develop a technology that will eliminate the need to travel for those who cannot travel in some situations.

If successful, the project will see new robots that can be remotely controlled by people using ear phones, goggles and VR headsets and haptic suits from far and away places instead of just jumping on a plane to visit a place.

The idea behind the concept is to bring the real essence of travel to those people who cannot travel due to their physical conditions. The competition will allow participants from the world over to create robotic avatars that can interact with people and also experience the nature.

An award of $8 million will be given to the winner and 2 awards of $1 million each will be given to selected participants at a milestone competition before the main event that is to be held in 2021.

The prize money is sponsored by the ANA and the winning team can retain their intellectual property, said Damandis.

The teams can register for the competition at avatar.xprize.org/ until October 31 this year.

Damantis further added that the invention could enable help experts to reach dangerous, disaster-prone and remote locations like the Fukushima where time is the essence.

The competition is also open to accepting feedback from the participants on its guidelines.