For the third year in a row, the Wearable Robotics Association will host its Innovation Challenge, providing anyone from solo developers to small companies with the opportunity to show their prototypes and ideas in front of the movers and shakers of the exoskeleton industry! The top finalists will be provided with display space and in what was a great success last year, present a five-minute lightning pitch in the main conference hall. The Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA) Innovation Challenge 2018 will be held during WearRAcon2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona, March 21-23, 2018.
Similar to previous years, the main prize will be an award of $5,000. This pales in comparison to the $4M prize fund of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, however, the Innovation Challenge 2018 offers more than just money. The real prize is the ability to demonstrate your innovative ideas in front of the core of the exoskeleton industry. You will be able to present your point of view in front of the heads and representatives of dozens of business, research and interest groups from around the world. Competing in a friendly challenge with your peers on an international stage like WearRAcon18 is an opportunity for your ideas to achieve recognition within the exoskeleton industry.
All entries will be examined by a panelist of wearable robotics experts. Finalists will be selected to present at WearRAcon18 (Scottsdale, Arizona, March 21-23, 2018). Each finalist proposal will have five minutes to present their project followed up by another five minutes for questions and answers. The presentations will be judged by the audience and a panel of judges. The winner will be announced at the conference.
This year, applying for the Innovation Challenge has been made easier than ever as the short video requirement has now been removed. The submission date cutoff is coming very soon, however, so don’t delay! Submit your proposal to the WearRAcon18 website: http://www.wearablerobotics.com/wearracon-18/program/innovation-competition/submission-details/
Coverage from the Wearable Robotics Association Innovation Challenge 2017 (April 2017).
Coverage from the WearRAcon16 Innovation Competition (May 2016).
This year’s Innovation Challenge is being sponsored by the Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and StrongArm Technologies.
Submit your innovative and new ideas in wearable robotics technology now! Your proposal should present component or system technologies that will benefit the wearable robotics industry. Ideas can include technology to increase productivity on a manufacturing line, enhance safety in transportation, augment tool use in construction, enable the elderly to do more, help a hiker to climb tall mountains… the sky is the limit! WearRA: Submission Details
Last Year’s Winner: EduExo
The Educational Exoskeleton Kit, EduExo, which has now successfully incorporated into Beyond Robotics, was the winner of WearRAcon17’s Innovation Challenge. Volker Bartenbach, the EduExo team founder was kind enough to share his thoughts on the competition:
What were you able to see/learn at WearRAcon17?
WearRAcon17 was great in terms of seeing and meeting the entire exoskeleton and wearable robotics industry and community. Most conferences are very academia and science centered. Special about the WearRAcon conference was the nice mix of visitors with different backgrounds that included many industry shareholders. We had the chance to meet many great people, to test several exoskeletons and see some very interesting talks.
How was the prize money applied to your current success?
I think it was already great just to participate in the innovation competition. The requirement to prepare a video, pitch presentation and a booth really helped us to formulate and present our ideas and our message. All this helped us again later in our successful Kickstarter campaign and other pitches. A great benefit of winning the prize was the boost in confidence that we might be up to something that is actually of interest to the wearable robotics community. This helped us to stay motivated, but also to convince other people of the project. Of course, the prize money was very helpful to cover expenses from traveling (as we came from Europe), prototyping, webhosting to pizza.
Good luck to all competitors!