i-Botics participates in $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition

Media contact: Tycho Brug (tycho.brug@tno.nl, +316-1172 3097)

The Hague, The Netherlands (22 January 2020), On the 8th of January XPRIZE – the global leader in designing and coordinating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges – announced that the i-Botics team has of­ficially qualified for participation in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE. The ANA Avatar XPRIZE is a four-year competition to develop a robotic system that will deploy the presence of a human to a remote location in real time, leading to a more connected world. In this competition, the i-Botics team is working to create synergy in multimodal telepresence, trans­porting the operator’s social and functional self to any fit-for-purpose avatar through a compelling combination of state-of-the-art social, visual, haptic, audio and olfactory technologies.

The i-Botics XPRIZE consortium is comprised of ETH’s Robotic Systems Lab (Switzerland), Halodi (Norway), Haption (France), SENSIKS. (The Netherlands), TNO (The Netherlands) and the University of Twente (The Netherlands). Partners’ strong track records attest to the in-depth expertise and unique hardware and software platforms needed to succeed at the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition. The i-Botics partners have participated in the DARPA SubT Challenge, The Dutch Braingain project, TER­RINet, a multitude of large EU projects and other international collaborations.

i-Botics’ vision is that distance should not be a banier to experiencing social connectedness and to applying one’s skills and knowledge to make this world a better and safer place. The mission is to develop a system that enables the user to fee! present at, and interact with, a remote environment and the people in it as if they are physically present. i-Botics is determined to create societal impact in challenges facing aging, health care, safety and security, and business impact by contributing to strengthening the business proposition of our partners during and after the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition.

To qualify for the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, all teams outlined their proposed solution. Each submitted qualification contains information on the team’s expertise, capabilities and plan for the functional avatar and the control station. Based on these plans, i­-Botics is continuing to the next round as one of 77 qualified other teams. At the semi-finals in Summer 2021, all teams wil! demonstrate their functional systems. Finals wil! be held in Spring 2022.

To win the competition, teams must integrate multiple emergent technologies to develop a physical, non-autonomous robotic avatar system that an operator can see, hear, and interact with in a remote environment. Avatars must demonstrate the ability to remotely execute tasks across a variety of real-world scenarios, and enable the operator to fee! as if they are truly there while performing those tasks.

For more information on i-Botics’ plans for the competition, please watch our submission video:

For more information on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, visit avatar.xprize.org.

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