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Someday you may send a robot to attend a meeting for you. Nimble avatar robots―collaborative mechanical systems that allow a human operator in one location to feel as if they are in another location—will be the focus of an international competition that includes Northeastern’s robotics team.

Team Northeastern is one of 15 teams selected as finalists in the ANA Avatar XPRIZE. The team has built a mobile robot using a combination of originally designed hardware and re-engineered off-the-shelf robotic systems. These finalist teams will equally share a milestone prize purse of $2M and move on to Finals Testing in Fall 2022 for their chance to win part of the $8M Finals prize purse.

Team Northeastern is led by mechanical and industrial engineering professor Peter Whitney. Student members include: Stephen Alt, who is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Computer Science; Eric Schwarm, who is in a sixth-year Ph.D candidate for Mechanical Engineering; Chunpeng Wang, who is a Mechanical Engineering graduate student; Rui Luo who is a Computer Engineering graduate student; and Tarik Kelestemur who is a Ph.D candidate in Robotics and Machine Learning.

Affiliated Faculty: Peter Whitney

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9/2/21 – BOSTON, MA – Computer Engineering graduate student Rui Luo operates a robot in the Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. Luo and five other students will be competing in Miami at a global competition. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

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