The Toyota Mobility Challenge
Toyota Challenges Science and Technology to Revolutionizing Mobility for people with Paralysis
PUSHliving was honored to host Matt Bellman, Chief Technology Officer of MYOLYN. Matt is one of the 5 Worldwide finalists of the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge. Matt is also the creator of Functional Electrical Stem Technology (MYOCYCLE)
Matt, with a Ph.D. in Engineering, is a part of the Florida based team – QUIX. With his partner Peter Neuhaus, Senior Research Scientist at Institute For Human and Machine Cognition/ IHMC, a not for profit research institute in Pensacola, FL.
What is the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge?
The Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge is a grant program that supports inclusion and innovation in smarter assistive technology for people with lower-limb paralysis.
These 5 finalists, from which QUIX cut, are from eighty entries that were received from the specialist teams in 28 countries around the world.
These innovative teams are competing for a total of $1 million in prizes to fund their work.
The Results of the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge
The finalists were chosen by a panel of expert judges after a 3-year challenge that kicked off November 2018. This concluded with the announcing of the five finalists at CES Las Vegas
Each of the five teams already received a $500,000 grant to continue developing their devices with the final winner being announced in Tokyo in 2020, receiving $1 million.
QUIX won the first award for the development of the robotic, powered exoskeleton with motors at the hips, knees, and ankles. Also included are additional actuators offering someone with lower-limb paralysis fast, stable and agile upright mobility.
Utilizing modular actuation, perception technology from autonomous vehicles, and control algorithms for balancing autonomous humanoid robots, this device will deliver the mobility, safety, and independence that current exoskeletons can not. The device will improve accessibility in society, especially at home and work.
Peter, the Senior Research Scientist at IHMC stated:
“We are delighted to have made it through as one of the five finalists of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. In the business world, developing technologies for people with lower-limb paralysis has been extraordinarily hard. We’ve constantly struggled against people saying the market is too small, and because of that, people aren’t putting in the effort, research or investment this field deserves. Meaning there hasn’t been enough advancement.”
Peter Neuhaus, Senior Research Scientist at IHMC (Pensacola, Ocala FL)
Matt Bellman, Chief Technology Officer at MYOLYN in Gainesville FL