The five finalists in the three-year Mobility Unlimited Challenge have been unveiled at CES in Las Vegas. The Toyota Mobility Foundation launched the $4 million global challenge in 2017 in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, with the aim of improving the lives of millions of people with lower-limb paralysis.
The Challenge invited engineers, innovators, and designers from across the world to submit designs for game-changing technologies, incorporating intelligent systems, to improve the mobility and independence of people with lower-limb paralysis. Central to the Challenge is the importance of collaboration with end-users to develop devices which will integrate seamlessly into users’ lives and environments, while being comfortable and easy to use, enabling greater independence and increased participation in daily life.
Each of the five finalists will receive a grant of $500,000 to develop their concept further, with the final winner of the Challenge receiving $1 million in Tokyo in 2020.
The five finalists are:
The Evowalk: Evolution Devices (United States) - a non-intrusive sleeve which goes around the user’s leg and has sensors that track the user’s walking motion and will stimulate the right muscles at the right time to improve mobility.
Photo: The Evowalk Evolution Devices (United States) - a smart wearable leg sleeve that helps people with partial lower limb paralysis regain their mobility. The EvoWalk AI system uses sensors to predict the user’s walking motion and stimulates the right muscles at the right time to help them walk better. Images designed by Simon Mckeown with Craig McMullen.
Moby: Italdesign (Italy) - an integrated network of wheel-on powered devices, allowing users of manual wheelchairs the convenience and benefits of a powered chair, accessible via an app-based share scheme.
Phoenix Ai Ultralight Wheelchair: Phoenix Instinct (United Kingdom) - an ultra-lightweight, self-balancing, intelligent wheelchair which eliminates painful vibrations.
Qolo (Quality of Life with Locomotion): Team Qolo, University of Tsukuba, (Japan) - a mobile exoskeleton on wheels, allowing users to sit or stand with ease.
Quix: IHMC & MYOLYN (United States) - a highly mobile, powered exoskeleton offering fast, stable and agile upright mobility.
Source: The Toyota Mobility Foundation