October 5, 2016
At the recent Visioneering Summit with XPRIZE, a world-renowned non-profit organization that uses competition to incentivize research around some of the world’s greatest challenges, Caterpillar’s project was recognized as one of the top three and deemed “ready for launch”.
Read the news release from XPRIZE about the outcomes of the Summit.
Earlier this summer, Caterpillar announced a partnership with XPRIZE, to drive research toward assistive technologies for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In early 2016, former Caterpillar group president Ed Rapp announced his retirement and shared the heartbreaking news that he is currently battling ALS. While the initial focus is ALS patients, these technologies could greatly benefit the larger communities living with disease, physical disabilities and injuries, as well as the frail and aged. Our Cat’s Iron Will ALS XPRIZE will pair humans and machines, a concept very familiar to Caterpillar.
The XPRIZE will challenge the world to make exponential advances in assistive technologies in the four domains of mobility, manipulation, communication and respiration. It will also incentivize innovators to integrate these domains into one comprehensive and affordable solution. The prize is focused on outcomes – not on how to get there. For example, one metric we will use for manipulation is simply the ability to open a door. We don't care if you solve the problem with brain sensors, or advanced robotics -- anything -- so long as a patient can afford the solution and independently use it.
“The ultimate definition of winning the world of ALS is a cure,” said Ed Rapp. “But the reality of it is – as so many ALS patients reminded us throughout the development of this prize – until there is a cure, there is technology.”
Visit the Cat’s Iron Will ALS XPRIZE team webpage to learn more about the innovation competition.