The Avatar XPRIZE aims to create an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location in real time. Members of the SLMC group -- Dr. Vladimir Ivan (lead roboticist) , Professor Sethu Vijayakumar (scientific advisor), are part of the AvatarX team led by Touchlab, an Edinburgh based startup. Our team is developing a mobile remotely operated robot with a unique capability of touch combined advanced shared control.

The ANA Avatar XPRIZE can enable the creation of an audacious alternative that could bypass physical human limitations, allowing us to more rapidly and efficiently distribute skills and hands-on expertise to distant geographic locations where they are needed, bridging the gap between distance, time and cultures.

Peter H. Diamandis, XPrize Founder
Touchlab Avatar XPRIZE team
AvatarX team

Our objective is to develop and integrate tactile sensing technology with robotics to enable seamless remote operation of an avatar in a hospital medical setting. We envisage healthcare professionals interacting with patients remotely, filling perscriptions, facilitating diagnosis and performing other crucial tasks that would otherwise require physical presence.

Nexi handing over a water bottle during a remote operation trial
Remote operation trial

Our avatar Nexi integrates the NextageA humanoid torso from Kawada Robotics with an omni-directional mobile base. Additionally, we have integrated an antropomorphic robotic hand robolimb (Ossur) and an industrial gripper (Robotiq) to the bimanual platform. The eDermis tactile sensors developed by Touchlab are complemented with force sensing, cameras, depth sensors and variety of other sensor modalities.

Our team is developing state of the art algorithms for safe and robust whole body control. We complement low latency remote operation with shared control that assists the operator with precise and safety critical tasks. While the operator is focusing on interacting with the avatar users, our software ensures that robot is safe, intuitive and easy to operate.

We are excited that in April 2021 our team has qualified for the XPrize semi-finals that will take place in USA at the end of 2021.


ANA Avatar XPRIZE website

Touchlab website

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics