Five new finalist teams joining the slate of competitors to test robotic avatar systems for a November public event
LOS ANGELES (May 25, 2022) – XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s greatest challenges, today announced that the four-year global ANA AVATAR XPRIZE will culminate with 20 teams from 11 countries competing for the $8M grand prize purse at a public event at the Long Beach Convention Center in Los Angeles County, Calif. in November.
“These 20 teams exemplify the rich innovation happening with robotics around the world,” stated Anousheh Ansari, CEO of XPRIZE. “We look forward to seeing and sharing their technology in action later this year for the public finals event.”
Sponsored by All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest, five-star airline, the ANA Avatar XPRIZE incentivizes teams to develop physical robotic avatar systems that can execute tasks and replicate a human’s senses, actions and presence to a remote location in real-time, leading to a more connected world. To win, the finalist teams must demonstrate the ability for the avatars 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.
”We’re proud to sponsor the ANA AVATAR XPRIZE, which brings the brightest minds together in showcasing the advanced innovation at the forefront of solving humanity’s greatest challenges," said Junko Yazawa, Member of the Board, Executive Vice President of ANA. "Each team's advancements take us closer in achieving our ultimate goal of a more connected world.”
In September 2021, semifinalist teams brought their avatar systems to the in-person testing event in Miami, Fla. for judging. After evaluation, an initial 15 teams were selected, but due to COVID travel regulations, some semifinalist teams were unable to participate. In order to accommodate these teams, XPRIZE conducted follow-up, judge-supervised testing where five additional finalist teams were identified to advance in the competition.
The finalist slate follows with an asterisk denoting new teams. Full team details are found here:
- AlterEgo, Genoa, Italy*
- AvaDynamics, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
- Avatar-Hubo, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
- AVATRINA, Urbana, Illinois, United States
- Converge, Chico, California, United States
- Cyberselves, Sheffield, United Kingdom
- Dragon Tree Labs, Singapore
- ENZO AVATAR, Bucaramanga, Colombia*
- iCub, Genoa, Italy*
- i-Botics, Soesterberg, Netherlands*
- INBIODROID, Irapuato, Mexico
- Janus, Tsukuba, Japan*
- Last Mile, Osaka, Japan
- NimbRo, Bonn, Germany
- Pollen Robotics, Bordeaux, France
- Rezilient, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- Team Northeastern, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Team SNU, Seoul, South Korea
- Team UNIST, Ulsan, South Korea
- Touchlab, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The final prize purse totals $8M, with the grand prize winner receiving $5M, and second and third place receiving $2M and $1M, respectively. The physical robotic avatar technologies will be tested on specific tasks drawn from potential domains including human connectivity, exploration and skill transference. The winning teams will need to integrate multiple emerging technologies to develop a physical, non-autonomous avatar system, which its operator can see, hear and interact with in a remote environment in a manner that feels as if they are truly there.
“This November, we will be introducing the future of telepresence technology to the world,” said David Locke, Executive Director, ANA Avatar XPRIZE. “These finalist teams are integrating emerging technologies in a way never seen before and we are excited to share it.”
The ANA Avatar XPRIZE finals testing event will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center, November 4-5, 2022 and is the foundation’s first public testing event since the Ansari XPRIZE in 2004. The testing will be open to the public and free to attend. For more information on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the finalist teams and ANA, please visit avatar.xprize.org.
Caden Kinard, XPRIZE, [email protected]
Johanna Jones, JSJ Communications, [email protected]
XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement, delivering truly radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE inspires and empowers a global community of problem-solvers to positively impact our world by crowdsourcing solutions through large-scale competitions, tackling the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment and human equity. Active competitions include the $100 Million XPRIZE Carbon Removal with Elon Musk, $15 Million XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million XPRIZE Rainforest, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, and $1 Million Digital Learning Challenge. Donate, sign up or join a team at xprize.org.
Founded in 1952 with just two helicopters, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has grown to become the largest airline in Japan. ANA HOLDINGS Inc. (ANA HD) was established in 2013 as the largest airline group holding company in Japan, comprising 71 companies including ANA and Peach Aviation, the leading LCC in Japan.
ANA is a launch customer and the largest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making ANA HD the biggest Dreamliner owner in the world. A member of Star Alliance since 1999, ANA has joint venture agreements with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines - giving it a truly global presence.
The airline's legacy of superior service has helped it earn SKYTRAX's respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013, with ANA being the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation for nine consecutive years. ANA also has been recognized by Air Transport World as "Airline of the Year" three times (2007, 2013 and 2018); it is one of only a select few airlines to win this prominent award multiple times.
In 2021, ANA was awarded the 5-star COVID-19 safety rating by SKYTRAX, recognizing the airline’s initiatives to provide a safe, clean and hygienic environment at airports and aboard aircraft, embodied in the ANA Care Promise.
ANA is the only company in the aviation industry to receive the Gold Class distinction from the 2022 S&P Global Sustainability Awards and ANA HD has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index list for the fifth consecutive year and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index list for the sixth consecutive year. For more information, please visit: https://www.ana.co.jp/group/en/.