Technologists and entrepreneurs across the world are mobilising for the Global Innovation Challenge – to develop robots that help people in wheelchairs walk.
The Living Assistance Robot Award will support technologists, entrepreneurs and scientists engaged in the research and development of the next wave of assistive robots.
The Global Innovation Challenge, a Japanese industry backed initiative, says the living assistance robot award is crucial to make up for the lack of private investment in the area, which has seen technological development stagnate.
“Science and technology have been advancing constantly,” says the group’s chairman, Tatsufumi Kamimura.
“However, once people become physically disabled because of accidents or illnesses, they find it difficult to lead ordinary lives.
“We believe that we can create a world where people won’t have to be conscious about disabilities by applying evolving science and technology to the field of health and welfare and supporting engineers in this field.”
Organisers say the $US1 million prize pool will be given to organisations that develop robots specifically allowing people with leg disabilities to walk on their own and support their motions in various aspects of daily lives.