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$22M XPRIZE seeks to make 'Avatar' a reality

Posted on Wednesday, 5 October, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments

The teams will attempt to build an immersive human-robot interface. Image Credit: YouTube / XPRIZE
The new contest will see teams vying to create a robot that can be 'inhabited' and controlled remotely.
This extraordinarily ambitious endeavour, which was recently selected as the top prize concept at the XPRIZE's inaugural Visioneers event in Los Angeles last week, aims to make it possible for a human operator to remotely inhabit and control a robotic 'avatar'.

Backed by Japan's largest airline ANA, the Avatar XPRIZE will give teams three years to develop the technologies needed for a human to control an avatar and use it to complete one basic task.

In 2022 the finalists will be invited to attend the Annual Avatar Games where they will be tasked with competing across five categories - caretaker, public speaker, disaster relief, tennis and musician.

It is hoped that the competition will lead to a world where, for example, a doctor could treat patients in remote, dangerous locations by controlling a robotic body from hundreds of miles away.
Another example would be an engineer remotely conducting repairs inside a nuclear power plant or carrying out maintenance work on a satellite without having to go in to space.

The potential applications for this technology are practically limitless.

"Humans, through an Avatar Platform, will be able to literally hear, see, talk, touch, feel, and move through the robotic body as if that robotic body were their own," the organizers said in a statement.

"You will feel a real presence as if your consciousness has actually moved into the robot. Anything you can do with your own body, you can do with a robotic body - and more."

Source: | Comments (6)

Tags: XPRIZE, Robot, Avatar

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by geraldnewfie on 5 October, 2016, 19:15
more waste of money in this world...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Dark_Grey on 5 October, 2016, 21:22
"What's wrong with riding horses?!" "What is the point of going to the moon?!" "Why the hell do I need a cell phone?!" It's called progress. Even though you can't see the applications for this technology, the people working on it can. I guarantee you'll see this "avatar" tech being used to save lives in the future. Besides, it's not like they're using your tax dollars.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 6 October, 2016, 0:20
It could be used to let a paraplegic walk and talk and live a somewhat normal existence, or anyone that's bedridden and get move on their own.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Parsec on 6 October, 2016, 9:10
Maybe today I'm just pessimistic, but I see a "wonderful" application for law enforcement and military.  And only after it's well settled there,  it will spread to more civilian applications.  Of course that's the way usually tech grows,  but this time it will impact more directly our lives.  Unless we obey and comply,  that is. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by geraldnewfie on 10 October, 2016, 12:52
save lifes? hahah the government will get first crack at this, use it for wars, it will never help us out.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Dark_Grey on 10 October, 2016, 14:40
... Ok, you go rush in to that house fire and I'll use an avatar. I should take your silly point and beat you with it but you're unlikely to ever respond or learn from it. You know, being so open to new ideas and all.

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