8 March 2018 saw Toyota and Nesta launch a crowdsource for mobility ideas as part of a wider total prize fund of $4 million. The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is announcing a crowdsourcing initiative, aimed at helping inspire entrants in their quest to develop life-changing technology for people with lower-limb paralysis. The #MyMobilityUnlimited campaign will invite people around the world to share their life experiences with lower-limb paralysis and the solutions they would like to see to the challenges they face every day.
Supported by disability champions including Ade Adepitan and Martyn Sibley, the global crowdsourcing campaign was launched to identify solutions to the challenges faced by people with lower-limb paralysis, as part of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. The Challenge is encouraging a user-centered approach and will invite people with lower-limb paralysis, across the world, to take part in a global conversation about the types of mobility technology innovations they would like to see, using the hashtag #MyMobilityUnlimited. These suggestions will then be used to inspire entrants to create genuinely life-changing technologies which directly address the issues faced by users on a day-to-day basis.
The Challenge is supported by a number of public figures from around the world, including Mallory Weggemann, NBC reporter for the Winter Paralympics in South Korea; Ade Adepitan, British wheelchair basketball player and television presenter; Sama Bullock, Brazilian wheelchair tennis player and model; and Martyn Sibley, journalist and broadcaster; all of whom have lower-limb paralysis and star in this video. Many have created their own personal videos and tweets, in which they share their hopes and ideas for the Challenge, and they are asking others to follow suit.
— Ade Adepitan (@AdeAdepitan) March 9, 2018
The Challenge will drive and reward the development of personal mobility devices incorporating intelligent systems. The mobility solutions of the future could include anything from exoskeletons, to artificial intelligence and machine learning, from cloud computing to batteries.
In order to open the challenge up to as many people as possible, ten Discovery Award prizes of $50,000 will be presented to support small, early stage innovators. A panel of expert judges will then 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 in 2020. Interested innovators can apply online by 15 August at mobilityunlimited.org.
What do you think about the Mobility Unlimited Challenge?
Do you agree that with their focus on lower-limb paralysis? Do you think that they could do more with a wider focus? Do you agree that assistive technology is out of reach of many? Have you taken part with the challenge? Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter and tell us in the comments below.