The Toyota Mobility Foundation has launched a $4 million-dollar global challenge in collaboration with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre to transform lives of people with lower-limb paralysis and encouraging them to be a part of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is calling out for teams across the world for developing groundbreaking technology for improved mobility of people with paralysis. Innovative devices aiding simplified mobility solutions will be rewarded at the end of the Challenge. These devices could be anything from exoskeletons to artificial intelligence and machine learning, from cloud computing to batteries. Read – Suzuki & Toyota Enter Into A Partnership To Develop Electric Vehicles For India
Millions of people around the world suffer from the problem, according to WHO’s estimates, 250,000-500,000 new cases of spinal cord injury are reported globally every year.
These devices could be designed to personalize as per the user’s body and environment, but factors such as small and fragmented markets, regulatory burdens and reimbursement complexities from healthcare system and insurers damper the application of these innovative technologies.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge Prize is backed by a bunch of people with experience of living with lower-limb paralysis, these global ambassadors include: Aki Taguchi, Director, Paralympian Association of Japan; August de los Reyes, Head of Design at Pinterest; Indian athlete and campaigner Preethi Srinivasan; Dr Rory A Cooper, director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh; Sandra Khumalo, South African rower; Sophie Morgan, British TV presenter; US track & field athlete Tatyana McFadden; and Yinka Shonibare MBE, Turner-Prize nominated British/Nigerian artist. Read – This Toyota Car Has Two Steering Wheels!
At the end, five finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges who will be rewarded $500,000 for developing a prototype of their concept. The winning device will be unveiled in Tokya in 2020 and the final winner will get $1,000,000 to make the device available to the users. Furthermore, the Discovery Awards will provide funding of $50,000 to 10 groups who fall short on the resources for entering the Challenge.