$5 million Avatar XPRIZE awarded to NimbRo VR telepresence robot

The robot completed all ten tasks in 5 minutes and 50 seconds, earning it the $5 million grand prize.


There have been a number of interesting developments happening in the world of robotics lately, including Team NimbRo from the Autonomous Intelligent Systems group at the University of Bonn, Germany, winning the $5 million Avatar XPRIZE the past weekend.

NimbRo earned itself the top prize with its telepresence robot which can be operated remotely using a VR headset and exoskeleton hands. As reported by outlets like UploadVR, NimbRo functions using dextrous, five-finger hands and a robot head “mounted on a robotic arm that gives it full freedom to move.”

Operator shown testing out Team NimbRo's VR robot and doing assorted tasks with it
© Team NimbRo

The robot was able to complete 10 requisite tasks to earn itself the ANA Avatar XPRIZE award of $5 million (USD) within a breezy 5 minutes and 50 seconds, with tasks testing things like its human-to-human connection and skill transfer. For example, switch activation, removing a door with a drill, and identifying objects of varied texture and weight.

In a document explaining how NimbRo’s robot works, it’s further noted that:

If you’d like to see Team NimbRo’s robot in action, you can check out one of the demonstrations that was recently shared to YouTube. In the description of the demonstration video, it’s noted that, “Our amazing Team NimbRo won the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals. In the Day 2 testing run, the awesome Operator Judge Jerry Pratt solved through our Avatar System all ten tasks of this competition in only 5:50 min. We received a perfect score of 15/15 points. The prize money is 5M US$.”

For more interesting news in the world of technology and robotics, check out some of our previous coverage including Elon Musk saying that Tesla's Optimus Robot will likely be available for public purchase in 3-5 years, and Activision Blizzard filing a patent for AI-generated music system in its games.

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Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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