Toyota Mobility Foundation launches $4m assistive technology challenge
An new international competition has challenged teams of engineers, software developers and designers to come up with novel solutions for lower-limb paralysis.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre’s Mobility Unlimited Challenge has an overall fund of $4 million. The winning projects could range from exoskeletons, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, to new batteries.
As part of the Challenge, the Mobility Foundation has created the Discovery Awards, to provide seed funding of $50,000 for 10 groups with promising concepts, who might otherwise lack the resources to enter the main competition.
The overall Challenge winner will receive $1,000,000 to make the device available to users – with the winning concept unveiled in Tokyo in 2020.
“Personal mobility devices can help overcome some major barriers in life for people, however, at present they do not fully meet the needs of user’s due to limitations in functionality and usability,” said Julie Ann Burandt, global communications manager, Toyota Mobility Foundation. “We know people could benefit from technologies and innovations from outside the assistive technology field, as well as from greater support to those in the field. That is exactly what we want to do with the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, and hopefully change people’s lives.”
Steve Tormey, chief executive, Toyota Ireland, added: “According to Spinal Injuries Ireland there are over 1,800 people living with spinal cord injury in Ireland, and there are many more with lower-limb paralysis that are striving for a better way of living. We look forward to seeing the difference this initiative can make to people and encourage those with ideas here in Ireland to apply.”
For more information visit https://mobilityunlimited.org/.