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Inside a laboratory at Northeastern University, students and their professors are fine-tuning a complicated robot called “Huskey” with big ambition. Students have spent the past 3 years designing and building Huskey and earlier this month returned from an international robotics competition held in Miami called the XPrize Avatar Challenge in which Team Northeastern is amongst the 15 Finalist teams and the highest ranked USA-based team. Northeastern has already won $130,000 in the early rounds of competition and will be aiming to win the $5 million on the table for the team that wins at the culmination of the competition.

Teams are tasked with creating an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location instantly. GRI Faculty Affiliate, Taskin Padir, and lead of the Northeastern Team says the world is still five to 10 years away from seeing so-called avatars in real-life operation, but he believes competitions like the XPrize are helping lead the way toward that future.