Toyota Mobility Foundation & Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre launch a multi-million dollar challenge to expand mobility across the globe for people with lower-limb paralysis.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge will reward development of personal mobility devices incorporating intelligent systems. Solutions will come from across the technological and design spectrum, from artificial intelligence to exoskeletons, with the challenge supported by international ambassadors from worlds of sport, media, design, art and technology.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre , has launched the $4 million dollar global challenge to change the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis, culminating in the unveiling of the winners in Tokyo in 2020.
Disability blogger Martyn Sibley learns about #MyMobilityUnlimited in the first episode of Toyota Mobility Foundation three-part documentary on the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. Talking to Samantha Renke, Nesta and Toyota Mobility Foundation, he asks how we hope to change mobility forever. Watch the full episode below.
Disability blogger Martyn Sibley learns about #MyMobilityUnlimited in the first episode of our three-part documentary on the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. Talking to Samantha Renke, Nesta and Toyota Mobility Foundation, he asks how we hope to change mobility forever. Watch the full episode below.
Posted by Toyota Mobility Foundation on Friday, 13 April 2018
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is seeking teams around the world to create game-changing technology that will help radically improve the mobility and independence of people with paralysis.
Around the world, millions of people have lower-limb paralysis (the most common causes being strokes, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis). While there are no statistics on paralysis worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates there are 250,000-500,000 new cases of spinal cord injury globally every year.
Innovation in “smarter” mobility technology has the potential to create personal devices that are better integrated with the user’s body and the environment. But the application of this groundbreaking technology is slow due to disincentives such as small and fragmented markets, regulatory burdens, and reimbursement complexities from healthcare systems and insurers.
This can make the field unattractive to small or new entrants, and prevent innovative solutions by existing innovators from getting to market. Even though huge advances have been made in improving travel between places, innovation in everyday functionality still lags behind.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge Prize is supported by a number of ambassadors from around the world, all of whom have experience of living with lower-limb paralysis. 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.
Ryan Klem , Director of Programs for Toyota Mobility Foundation, stated: “This is the beginning of our challenge, a three-year journey concluding in Tokyo in 2020. A journey where the greatest minds in technology, design and engineering, from every corner of the world, will compete to make the environment and society more accessible for people with lower-limb paralysis. We know we don’t have solutions yet: this Challenge is about working with the people who can help develop them.”
Charlotte Macken of Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, commented: “Challenge Prizes are a way to make innovation happen. The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is about the freedom to move. It will support innovators, creating cutting-edge personal mobility devices incorporating smart technology and intelligent systems that will transform people’s lives.”
A panel of expert judges will pick five finalists who will each receive $500,000 to take their
concepts from an intelligent insight to a prototype. The Challenge winner will receive
$1,000,000 to make the device available to users- with the winning concept unveiled in Tokyo
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge aims to attract and support smaller innovators who might
otherwise struggle to break into the assistive technology market. The Discovery Awards will
provide seed funding of $50,000 for 10 groups with promising concepts, but who might
otherwise lack the resources to enter the Challenge. Interested innovators can apply online at
Building on universal design principles to create a more equitable environment, entries for the Mobility Unlimited Challenge will be user-centered. The Challenge will be a catalyst for innovation through co-creation with the people around the world who will benefit most from the solutions discovered by our entrants.
At the end of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, the Toyota Mobility Foundation and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre will have supported teams of innovators in creating leading edge technological solutions, opening a new chapter in personal mobility for people with lower-limb paralysis. For more information please visit mobilityunlimited.org