15 Finalist teams from 8 countries compete to create an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location instantly.
LOS ANGELES (October 21, 2021) -- XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, announced today that 15 teams from 8 countries are advancing to the finals round of the $10M 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 the development of an avatar system that will 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. These 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 Semifinals Testing in Miami, Fla. to be evaluated by the 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 the field of 37 Semifinalist teams.
For the first time, XPRIZE is releasing these Finalists in a ranking of how well each team met the competition's scoring criteria.
The ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finalist teams (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
Additional details about all Finalist teams can be found here.
“We’re thrilled to announce the Finalist teams moving forward in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE,” said David Locke, executive prize director of the ANA Avatar XPRIZE. "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.”
“We are very excited to have 15 teams safely moving forward to the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals, despite current COVID-19 restrictions,” said Junko Yazawa, Senior Vice President of All Nippon Airways. “We are really proud of their achievements so far with their innovative Avatar technology that will most definitely be an important part of our future in travel and human connections. We look forward to witnessing our dreams come true as the teams showcase their Avatars once again for the finals.”
The 15 Finalist teams will equally share a milestone prize purse of $2M and move on to Finals Testing in Fall 2022. The teams will compete to win a share of the $8M finals prize purse, with the grand prize winners receiving $5M, second and third place getting $2M and $1M.
The grand, second and third place prizes will be awarded in Fall 2022 after Finals Testing is completed. 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, nonautonomous avatar system which its operator can see, hear and interact within a remote environment in a manner that feels as if they are truly there.
For more information on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the Finalist teams, and ANA, please visit avatar.xprize.org.
XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement of over 1M people and rising, 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, Austrian Airlines and Brussels 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 2021 S&P Global Sustainability Awards and ANA HD has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index list for the fourth consecutive year and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index list for the fifth consecutive year.
For more information, please refer to the following link.