VIDEO: Fourth-Place Finish Doesn't Define Kris Hauser and AVATRINA's 4-Year Run in XPRIZE Competition

11/21/2022 Aaron Seidlitz, Illinois CS; Nicholas Morse, Grainger Engineering

A team of students led by the Illinois CS professor competed in the ANA AVATAR XPRIZE that began with 99 registered teams in 2018. Beyond the amazing competitive effort, this group learned just how impactful their robotics research can be.

Written by Aaron Seidlitz, Illinois CS; Nicholas Morse, Grainger Engineering

Four years ago, Illinois Computer Science professor Kris Hauser and his AVATRINA student team began to turn their robotics research into TRINA – a Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant – as part of the ANA AVATAR XPRIZE competition.

Beginning in 2018 with 99 registered teams from around the world, the XPRIZE completion ended on November 5. AVATRINA finished fourth among 17 finalists that competed over two days in Long Beach, Calif. Within 45 minutes they were able to train a judge to operate the robot to complete the entire testing course, one of only four teams to successfully do so.

“The big takeaway that I want my students to get from this project, is that we’re developing technology for the world,” Hauser said. “TRINA is not just for our own internal use, but, really, we’re trying to find some way that we can impact society. We need to be able to have humans use our technology. We build it for them – not just for us.”

The following video tells the AVATRINA story. 

Share this story

This story was published November 21, 2022.