A global robotics competition focused on developing technology that will allow humans to travel the world via an avatar is set to hold its final event in Long Beach this weekend.
The ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition challenged 17 teams from 10 countries to develop physical robotic avatar systems that can perform tasks and replicate a human’s senses, actions and presence in a remote location in real time, resulting in a more connected world leads .
To compete for the $8 million prizes, teams must demonstrate the avatars’ ability to perform tasks in a variety of real-world scenarios and provide both the operator and recipient with a sense of presence in these interactions .
The event, which is free to attend, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. instead of.
“There has never been a competition like this that brought together this type of robotic technology,” said David Locke, Senior Program Director at ANA Avatar XPRIZE.
XPRIZE – a global organization that sponsors competitions to advance technologies that could solve problems and positively impact the world – launched the world-spanning avatar competition in 2018 with All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest five-star airline, as the main sponsor .
While brainstorming a new business model for the airline, XPRIZE and ANA partnered to sponsor innovative technologies that could take people around the world in new ways.
“Whether people want to connect with someone or hold a business meeting, (ANA) knows people don’t always want to be on planes because it’s expensive and takes a lot of time,” Locke said. “So if they have a robot that they can access anywhere in the world and they have a real sense of presence, that they feel like they’re where that avatar robot is, it eliminates the need to be in a.” to get on the plane.”
Those attending this weekend’s event will have the opportunity to watch the finalists complete the four-year competition by completing a series of complex tasks on a purpose-built test course while pushing the limits of immersive telepresence technology – a combination from robotics and virtual ones – extend reality, haptics and more.
When the competition first launched, Locke said the public didn’t fully understand the need for avatar technology, but the coronavirus pandemic has changed that.
“As awful as it was, it really opened up our minds,” Locke said, in reference to “what these avatars could be used for.”
These uses include making connections, exploring the world and transferring skills – the three main areas in which teams will test their avatars for the final competition.
The finalists are from Italy, UK, Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Germany, France, South Korea and the United States.
The two-day event will have behind-the-scenes areas where you can watch attendees in action as they prepare their avatar robots for the final rounds of testing, which will be the first public tests XPRIZE has conducted in 20 years.
“It’s exciting to see the different approaches these teams are taking,” Locke said. “Everyone takes a completely different approach to developing these avatar systems.”
Viewers can also meet the innovators, entrepreneurs and engineers from current and past XPRIZE competitions, try out the technology at the hands-on interactive technology fair and watch the grand prize ceremony live.
Avatar Tech Expo will feature around 20 different exhibitors including ANA, Cal State Long Beach, WEART – a robotic and haptic technology startup – and more.
“You can’t just sit there and watch these teams compete for the prize,” Locke said, “but you can actually study and play with this technology and experiment with it and understand what it’s capable of and prepare for it.” it’s coming to market because eventually it will.
“It is an absolute first of its kind; it’s going to be one of the biggest robot gatherings ever,” he added, “and it’s happening right here in Long Beach.”
If individuals are unable to attend the in-person event, a live stream of the competition will be available on the competition website.
For more information on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Closing Event, visit xprize.org.