The ANA Avatar XPRIZE was an international, $10 million competition to build a telerobotic “avatar” system that allows human operators to transport their senses, actions, and presence across long distances. Potential applications of avatars are diverse and include telecommuting, emergency response, service, healthcare, space, and tourism sectors.
Telepresence through avatars is a relevant and topical area in robotics research because avatars represent a next generation of telecommuting devices that enable workers to not only communicate through audio and video, but also navigate remotely and manipulate objects in the distant environment. The process of developing a robotic avatar touches on many areas of robotics research, including telerobotics, haptics, tactile sensing, robot hands, VR/AR, and human robot-interaction.
In November 2022, 17 teams from ten countries competed in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals. The workshop is an opportune time for XPRIZE teams, observers, and researchers in related areas to discuss and reflect on their perspectives on the current state of avatar technology, as well as future research challenges in the areas of telerobotics, haptics, VR/AR, and human-robot interaction. The program will consist of invited presentations, contributed talks and demos, and a panel discussion.

Avatar Robots at ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals


9:00 – Welcome and introduction (organizers)
9:10 – Invited presentation by Fumihiro Kato, Waseda University, Japan:
Telexistence Avatar Robot TELESAR VI and its Application to Telemedicine
9:35 – Invited presentation by David Locke, Senior Program Director, ANA Avatar XPRIZE, USA:
The ANA Avatar XPRIZE and the Push for an Avatar Future
10:00 – Contributed presentations (5 minutes each)
10:30 – Coffee break with poster session
11:10 –
Invited presentation by Max Schwarz and Sven Behnke, University of Bonn, Germany:
The NimbRo Immersive Telepresence System Winning the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals
11:35 – Invited presentation by Pierre Rouanet, Pollen Robotics, France:
Simplicity, Adaptability, and Homogeneity: Designing Robots for Natural Interactions
12:00 – Contributed presentations (5 minutes each)
12:30 – Lunch with poster session
13:30 – Invited presentation by Peter Whitney and Taskin Padir, Northeastern University, USA:
A Progress Report on Team Northeastern’s Avatar Technology
13:55 – Invited presentation by Jeremy Fishel, Tangible Research / Sanctuary AI, USA:
From High-Dexterity Tactile Telerobots to General-Purpose Robots with Human-Like Intelligence
14:20 – Invited presentation by Daniel Leidner, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany:
The Surface Avatar Experiment: A Glimpse Into the Future of Astronaut-Robot Collaboration for Planetary Infrastructure Maintenance
14:45 – Invited presentation by Daniele Pucci, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy:
iCub3 Avatar System
15:10 – Contributed presentations (5 minutes each)
15:40 – Coffee break with poster session
16:20 – Invited presentation by Oussama Khatib, Stanford University, USA:
From Romeo & Juliet to OceanOneK Deep-Sea Robotic Exploration
16:45 – Invited presentation by Akira Fukabori, Founder & CEO avatarin, Japan:
Instantaneous Mobility for a Better World
17:10 – Panel discussion (invited speakers, moderated by organizers)
18:00 Farewell


The workshop took place in the Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL) in the ICC Capital Suite 2 as part of the 2023 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).


Participants had to register through the 2023 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

Call for Contributions

We were soliciting contributed presentations and demonstrations on all aspects related to robotic avatars.
[Link to the call]

Contributors are encouraged to submit extended results to the special issue Robot Avatars for Telepresence and Social Interaction of the International Journal of Social Robotics.

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