The grand challenge
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 XPRIZE consortium 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. SENSIKS is proud to call itself a member of this consortium.
The i-Botics XPRIZE consortium
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.
SENSIKS role in the XPRIZE consortium is delivering the pod in which the operator of the avatar is seated. Thanks to receptors on the avatar's side and air- and heat flow as well as aromatic feedback in the pod, the operator is able to feel and smell what the avatar feels and smells in real-time.
Designing avatars for impact
i-Botics’ vision is that distance should not be a barrier to experiencing social connectedness and 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 a societal impact in challenges facing ageing, 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 will demonstrate their functional systems. Finals will be held in Spring 2022.
Anywhere is possible
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 within 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 the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, visit avatar.xprize.org.
We see the potential for avatars to take on many different forms and be used in numerous scenarios. For example: Providing Care Avatars could give the experience of your presence and care to anyone instantly, regardless of distance. Disaster Relief Avatars could transport critical life-saving skills in real-time to remote, disaster-struck areas where it is too dangerous for humans to go. Multipurpose Utility Experts can utilize avatars to provide unique services or rare trade skills for critical maintenance or repairs.
See more in the concept video below: