Analysis and Perspectives on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition

Kris Hauser,Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson,Joonbum Bae, Josh Bankston,Sven Behnke, Bill Borgia,Manuel G. Catalano, Stefano Dafarra,Jan B. F. van Erp,Thomas Ferris, Jeremy Fishel,Guy Hoffman,Serena Ivaldi,Fumio Kanehiro,Abderrahmane Kheddar, Gaëlle Lannuzel, Jacquelyn Ford Morie,Patrick Naughton, Steve NGuyen,Paul Oh,Taskin Padir, Jim Pippine,Jaeheung Park,Jean Vaz,Daniele Pucci, Peter Whitney,Peggy Wu, David Locke

International Journal of Social Robotics(2024)

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The ANA Avatar XPRIZE was a four-year competition to develop a robotic “avatar” system to allow a human operator to sense, communicate, and act in a remote environment as though physically present. The competition featured a unique requirement that judges would operate the avatars after less than one hour of training on the human–machine interfaces, and avatar systems were judged on both objective and subjective scoring metrics. This paper presents a unified summary and analysis of the competition from technical, judging, and organizational perspectives. We study the use of telerobotics technologies and innovations pursued by the competing teams in their avatar systems, and correlate the use of these technologies with judges’ task performance and subjective survey ratings. It also summarizes perspectives from team leads, judges, and organizers about the competition’s execution and impact to inform the future development of telerobotics and telepresence.
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