Innovator Webinar - Your Questions Answered!

Two innovators work at a computer

The deadline for the Mobility Unlimited Challenge is now just over a month away, on the 15th August, 2018. Last week, we held an innovator webinar to share more information about the Challenge, discuss what and who we're looking for, and give innovators tips for their applications.

Watch a recording of the webinar here.

Thanks to everyone who joined us on the day, and especially to those who participated by asking questions. While we were unfortunately unable to answer everything live, we've compiled the questions and have answered them below.

Have more questions about the Challenge? Get in touch with us at


  • What does "smart" mean in the context of this challenge​?

As per our FAQ, smart or intelligent systems could include Artificial Intelligence, machine learning or other technologies. They are systems comprising sensors and processors, taking a sense input and automatically transforming it into an output. Incorporating these into your device could be accomplished through improved dynamic response to one or more of the following: user intention, surrounding environment, user’s body or the functional parameters of the device.

  • Is there an upper limit on the technology readiness of the product submitted?

We’re looking for new and innovative ideas for mobility devices that incorporate smart intelligent systems to deliver new and improved functionality and usability. If your device is already on the market it would not be eligible for the Challenge.

To enter the Challenge, you will need a ​working ​model (this ​may ​be ​a ​scale ​model prototype) and if you are selected as a Finalist you will develop this into a prototype capable of user demonstration by the September 2020.

  • It was mentioned that the prototype would be developed with Toyota. What kind of support would Toyota provide?

The Challenge is being run by the Toyota Mobility Foundation, an independent charitable foundation, endowed by Toyota. While they are a separate entity, TMF are able to draw on Toyota networks. On top of the financial support offered, finalists will have to access mentoring opportunities from leading experts, potentially including Toyota engineers. Actual support offered will be tailored to the finalists, depending on their needs.

  • We are planning to submit a video summarizing our work as part of the challenge. Would that be acceptable? Is there a length limit?

  • Can you please talk briefly about the criteria for the two videos?

  • Is it possible to provide more than 4 minutes of video by linking my website as an additional source for the judges to refer to?

Submitting two videos is a requirement of entering the Challenge. You will be expected to upload a 2 min (max) submission video, giving us an overview of your device, as well as a 2 min (max) demonstration video, demonstrating your working model. We would recommend downloading a pdf version of the application form for more information. To ensure entries are judged fairly, any content over the 2 min max of each video will not be considered. Likewise, we cannot consider anything outside the requested information contained in the application form.

  • Is the challenge interested in an app to review a person's mobility needs?

The Challenge is seeking a physical device that incorporates smart or intelligent systems. However, this doesn’t need to be a full mobility device but could also be an add on to an existing device, for example, something that allows smart or intelligent systems to be incorporated into a manual wheelchair to deliver new and improved functionality and usability.

  • Do you consider low tech innovations that are simple, effective, sustainable and scalable for the challenge?

The Challenge is seeking smart assistive mobility devices that incorporate intelligent systems to deliver new and improved functionality and usability. The Challenge welcomes any entry that meets responds to our challenge statement and meets our eligibility and judging criteria.

  • How developed does the device need to be?

At the entry stage, we are looking for products that have the potential to meet the judging criteria. You will be expected to enter with an idea that has been considered, and understand the route you would need to take to get your device to market. You will be expected to enter with a working model, although this does not necessarily have to be to scale. Your device cannot already be at market.

  • What is best way to handle the IP question of the proposal (3f. What is the IP (intellectual property) status of your entry?)- what are the expectations?

The applicants should simply declare what they think the IP is for their project and state if and how it is secured.  IP can be patents, copyrights, or even trademarks. When describing the IP’s protection status phrases like: “a patent application has been submitted”, “a copyright has been granted” or “a patent has been issued” might be appropriate.  Applicants should note that the competition requires that IP must be secured as part of the process for ideas that are not secured and that applicant is responsible for ensuring that they own or have permission to use the IP they present.  

  • How much travel should we budget? Is there more travel besides the June 2020 demo? Where will the June 2020 demo take place? Tokyo? Do we have to bring someone with us for the demo?

  • Will those five entries selected be expected to travel to demonstrate their entry?  If so, should this travel for included into the $500,000 budget?

Yes, some travel may be required if you enter the Challenge. Teams shortlisted for a Finalist Development Grant will be required to attend a 4-day Induction Camp (Mar 2019, location TBC likely US or Europe), the 2-day Pre-Submission Workshop (Jan 2020, location TBC US or Europe), physical testing and the judging panel (mid-2020, Pittsburgh, USA), and, the announcement and demonstration (Aug/Sept 2020, Tokyo). Travel should be factored in to your budget, however,  we recognise that these budget items will be subject to reasonable adjustments as details are confirmed.

You will be expected to bring a user for the physical testing and for the user demonstration in 2020.

  • If we do not yet have the expertise yet of getting the product to market should we still apply?

As long as you meet our eligibility criteria, you are eligible to apply. Our criteria states that entrants must have the capacity to develop their entry. If selected as a Finalist, entrants must have the capacity to, by the final judging stage in 2020, develop their entry to the point of being a prototype device capable of user demonstration with a demonstrable route to making the device available to users.

  • How can we include references to publications in our application? Only 15 references are allowed in the proposal – can we augment these references with “supporting documentation” in item 3a, “What is your design and development plan for the Finalist Stage?”

We cannot consider anything outside the requested information contained in the application form. Therefore, no additional publications outside of the requested 15 will be considered.