77 Teams Worldwide Advance in the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition

Jan 08 2020

Qualifying Teams Hail From 19 Countries

January 8th, 2020 (LOS ANGELES) -- Today, XPRIZE - the global leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges - announced that 77 teams from 19 different countries have qualified to compete for the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE. Sponsored by All Nippon Airways (ANA), the ANA Avatar XPRIZE is a four-year global competition focused on the development of an avatar system that will deploy the senses, actions, and presence of a human to a remote location in real time, leading to a more connected world.

An independent panel of judges selected the competitors that are advancing from a field of 99 registered teams. In order to qualify, teams had to answer a series of questions that outline the expertise, capabilities, and plan for the functional avatar solution that each team intends to create. The 77 qualifying teams come from a collection of diverse backgrounds, industries, and nations, which include the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Switzerland, Russia, Netherlands, Mexico, South Korea, Jordan, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, Colombia, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. 

To win the competition, teams must integrate multiple emerging technologies to develop a physical, non-autonomous robotic avatar system that enables an operator to 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 feel as if they are truly there while performing those tasks. In the future, avatar applications could help provide healthcare services and deploy immediate emergency response in natural disaster scenarios. The ANA Avatar XPRIZE challenges teams to stretch the boundaries of what is possible for supplying critical skills and knowledge remotely around the world. 

Details about all advancing teams can be found here

Prize Director, David Locke, said, “At XPRIZE, we believe a breakthrough idea can come from anyone and anywhere. The incredible geographical diversity represented by the 77 teams moving forward will provide the unique perspectives necessary to develop transformative avatar technology capable of transcending physical limitations and expanding the capacity of humankind itself.”

In 2019, an Advisory Board of esteemed robotics experts, haptics inventors, psychology professors, top entertainment researchers, virtual world creators, and computer vision dynamos was announced to help guide the competition. With the submission period now closed, the Avatar XPRIZE officially enters the solution development phase where teams will execute their proposals and bring their avatars to life during Semifinals testing in 2021.

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE was launched in March 2018 at SXSW in Austin, Texas Later this year, up to 75 teams will be selected to progress to Semifinals testing where a prize purse of $2M will be split equally among the up to 20 teams selected to advance to the Finals round of testing. In early 2022, the $8M Finals prize purse will be divided among the top-ranked teams. $5M will be awarded for first place, $2M for second place, and $1M for third place. The Finals will include performance tests based on specific tasks that showcase the application of avatar technologies across several use case scenarios.

For more information about the ANA Avatar XPRIZE and the qualifying teams, please visit avatar.xprize.org.

XPRIZE

XPRIZE designs and operates multi-million-dollar, global competitions to incentivize the development of technological breakthroughs that accelerate humanity toward a better future. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE and the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.

ABOUT ANA

Following the “Inspiration of Japan” high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past 10 years - 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.

ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 82 international routes and 118 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.

ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.

In addition to the full service and award-winning record of ANA, the ANA Group’s subsidiary Peach Aviation Limited is the leading LCC in Japan and has expanded following the integration of Vanilla Air in late 2019. ANA Group carried 54.4 million passengers in FY2018, has approximately 43,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. 

For more information, please refer to the following link. https://www.ana.co.jp/group/en/