Japan's ANA airline announces $22M Avatar XPRIZE

The Avatar XPRIZE challenge is currently underway and will conclude in 2022 with a “no limits” Olympic-type competition.

    2016/10/07

NSFW    TOKYO — The next wave of animatronics is on the horizon. The Avatar XPRIZE challenge, sponsored by Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), is currently underway and will conclude in 2022 with a “no limits” Olympic-type competition.

The challenge asks teams to come up a means to instantaneous and limitless transportation to further expand the reaches of communication. A prize of $22 million will be awarded to the winning team that can develop a system that teleports one’s consciousness into a physical avatar body, which will enable people to instantly be in multiple places at once.

Professor Susumu Tachi from the University of Tokyo’s Tachi Lab has already demonstrated a workable avatar called the Telesar V, which stands for Telexistence Surrogate Anthropomorphic Robot. The bare-bones avatar was synced to one of Tachi’s students and interacted with the professor during a recent demonstration.

Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory also recently presented his robot. The robot, named “U,” was dressed as a flight attendant and appeared rather lifelike. U was even capable of making facial expressions and smiled during the demonstration.

XPRIZE and ANA hope that the challenge will give birth new ways of traveling, allowing people to not only experience new areas without the time spent on commuting, but to also be able to conduct business, according to the competition’s official website.

In 2022, each team’s avatar will compete in the Avatar Games, by conducting a series of activities based on different jobs. For example, they will act as a caretaker and push a wheelchair; shake hands as a public speaker, and play tennis against a trained athlete.
The Avatar XPRIZE challenge, sponsored by Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), is currently underway and will conclude in 2022 with a “no limits” Olympic-type competition. AVATAR X PRIZE
The Avatar XPRIZE challenge, sponsored by Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), is currently underway and will conclude in 2022 with a “no limits” Olympic-type competition. AVATAR X PRIZE
The challenge asks teams to develop a system that teleports one’s consciousness into a physical avatar body, which will enable people to instantly be in multiple places at once. AVATAR X PRIZE
The challenge asks teams to develop a system that teleports one’s consciousness into a physical avatar body, which will enable people to instantly be in multiple places at once. AVATAR X PRIZE
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