Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Wednesday, September 02 2020 - 16:00
Organizer of "Global Innovation Challenge 2021" -- Living Assistance Robot Award -- Begins Accepting Entries on Sept. 1
TOKYO, Sept. 2, 2020 /Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/ --

- Determined to Help People with Leg Disabilities Realize Their Desire to Stand 
and Walk on Their Own -

The Global Innovation Challenge Executive Committee has launched "Global 
Innovation Challenge 2021 -- Living Assistance Robot Award" under the theme of 
ensuring living assistance for disabled people with the aim of achieving a 
society where people will not have to be conscious about disabilities.



Global Innovation Challenge's initiative
- Helping people with leg disabilities realize their desire to stand and walk 
on their own

There are growing numbers of people in the world who need living assistance 
because of advanced age, illnesses and injuries they suffered in accidents, 
among other factors. While both assistance providers and recipients are 
required to shoulder certain mental, physical and financial burdens, investors 
are not necessarily enthusiastic about investing in the development of robots 
for health and welfare because the market for this field is relatively small.

- Social structure that makes it difficult to achieve demand-supply balance for 
new options to help disabled people broaden the scope of their living

The improvement of public infrastructure and the promotion of barrier-free 
access now allow people with leg disabilities to lead their daily lives on 
their own to a greater extent if they have wheelchairs. Still, their activities 
are restricted in areas where such an environment has not been sufficiently 
developed. For example, if people with leg disabilities visit their friends' 
homes that have not been made barrier-free like their own homes, their 
activities will be restrained. They can travel by using wheelchairs, receiving 
assistance from others and using support equipment to walk, but many of them 
desire to stand and walk on their own. Regardless of whether sufficient public 
infrastructure is in place and barrier-free access is available, the organizer 
of the initiative believes that robots that help people walk on their own will 
allow those with leg disabilities to enjoy freer daily lives in their own ways 
to a greater extent.

- Establishment of Living Assistance Robot Award

The Living Assistance Robot Award has been established to ensure that 
innovative robots which help people in wheelchair fully use their residual 
functions to walk on their own will be broadly in use all over the world. The 
award will support those engaged in research and development of such robots 

- Message from Tatsufumi Kamimura, chairman of the Global Innovation Challenge 
Executive Committee

"Science and technology have been advancing constantly. Smartphones have 
realized many things that were previously regarded just as dreams. Our daily 
lives and business activities are moving at an increasingly rapid pace and we 
live in a world where we can try new things. However, once people become 
physically disabled because of accidents or illnesses, they find it difficult 
to lead ordinary lives.

"We have established this award because we believe that we can create a world 
where people won't have to be conscious about disabilities by applying evolving 
science and technology to the field of health and welfare and supporting 
engineers in this field.

"We would be glad if this award helps those engaged in research and development 
all over the world."

- Overview of Global Innovation Challenge - Living Assistance Robot Award

This award is given to organizations developing robots that help people with 
leg disabilities walk on their own. Specifically, the committee will commend 
organizations that have developed robots allowing people with leg disabilities 
to walk on their own and support their motions in various aspects of daily 
lives. Moreover, prize money will be awarded to such organizations to support 
their research and development.

Organizations developing robots that help people whose lower limbs are 
paralyzed to walk on their own.

Criteria for selection:
The organizer will set up seven assumed scenes of daily life and judge whether 
robots entered in the contest can allow physically disabled people to walk on 
their own in each scene.

Sum of the prize money:
Achieving one of the given tasks / achieving some of the given tasks / 
achieving all the given tasks
1 million U.S. dollars (approximately 100 million yen) in total sum

Period of entries: from September 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021
Announcement of screening results: July 1, 2021
Award ceremony & demonstrations of prize-winning robots: September 5, 2021 (not 
fixed yet) at GIC Tsukuba Innovation Center
*All schedules in this press release are based on Japan Standard Time (JST, 

Organizer: Global Innovation Challenge Executive Committee

Special sponsor: TKF Inc.
Sponsor: JTB Corp.
Collaborators: Tsukuba Municipal Government/Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
Supporter: Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd.

Official website:

Detailed application guidelines can be downloaded from the following website:

Concept video:

Promotion video:

Official Facebook account:

Source: Global Innovation Challenge Executive Committee