The Toyota Mobility Foundation is launching a crowdsourcing campaign to find out from wheelchair users what their daily challenges are. The #mymobilityunlimited campaign is part of the US$4 million (R46 million) Mobility Unlimited Challenge, which aims to develop life-changing assistive technologies for people with lower-limb paralysis.
Wheelchair users are encouraged to share their thoughts, views and suggested solutions on social media using the #mymobilityunlimited hashtag. These insights will assist in inspiring entrants for the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, a campaign launched through Toyota’s worldwide partnership with the International Paralympic Committee.
Winners of the Challenge will be announced at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games. 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.
Many wheelchair users have created personal videos and tweets to share their hopes and ideas for the Challenge. The aim is for the Mobility Unlimited Challenge to drive and reward the development of 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 make the challenge accessible to as many people as possible, ten Discovery Award prizes of US$50 000 (R582 590) will be presented to support small, early-stage innovators. A panel of expert judges will then pick five finalists who will each receive US$500 000 (R5,8 million) to create a prototype of their idea.
The overall winner of the Challenge will receive US$1 million (R11,6 million) to make the device available to users. Innovators can apply online by August 15, 2018, at https://mobilityunlimited.org/.