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Orange County Convention Center Pilots Moonwalkers Robotic Shoes

Shift Robotics announced that the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida will be piloting Moonwalkers robotic shoes for use in all of its facilities, while becoming a customer at the same time.

The OCCC is the first public entity to recognize the AI-informed Moonwalkers as OPDMDs (Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices). This collaboration further strengthens the OCCC’s position as a global innovation leader, not just in the convention, meetings, hospitality, tourism, and travel industries, but across all markets.

Launched in May 2023, Moonwalkers are AI-informed robotic shoes that allow individuals to “Walk at the Speed of a Run” — up to 3X faster — with a top speed of 7 miles per hour.

“We are incredibly impressed with the innovative technology and countless uses of Shift Robotics’ Moonwalkers,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “We are eager to be the first convention center to pilot this impressive technology and see how its numerous uses can benefit our event staff and the efficiency of our shows.”

“As an industry leader, we are always looking for safe and innovative ways to enhance our mission, while meeting the growing needs of our clients,” Tester added. “Through the pilot testing of the Moonwalkers, we can create a more efficient and less taxing method of travel for our team members who often walk miles around our large campus.”

With its pilot, the OCCC has identified Moonwalkers as OPDMDs, a term coined within the Americans with Disabilities Act as Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices. In simplest terms, OPDMDs include powered devices — such as electric wheelchairs, powered scooters, Segways, and others — that help mobility-challenged individuals to get around. Unlike some OPDMDs, however, Moonwalkers have a top speed of 7mph.

For their part, Moonwalkers are robotic shoes that use AI software to measure a user’s stride, thus enabling each shoe to adjust to the Gait Cycle of each individual to maximize safety, enjoyment, and performance while walking. And Moonwalkers were named last year by TIME as one of the Best Inventions of 2023.

“We are humbly honored to have the OCCC support Moonwalkers,” said Xunjie Zhang, CEO and founder of Shift Robotics, and Moonwalkers inventor. “With 7 million square feet of total space within its facilities, the Orange County Convention Center was already seen as a global leader in the conventions, meetings, expos, tourism, hospitality, and travel industries. But this pilot takes the OCCC to another level, a level of innovation leadership across all industries. We express our gratitude to Mark and his entire team for catching the vision of how Moonwalkers can elevate the business world to another level.”

Shift Robotics just announced its next model of robotic shoes — Moonwalkers X — shoes that are significantly lighter, quicker and smarter than the original model of Moonwalkers.

According to the company, Moonwalkers X are scheduled to begin shipping in the second quarter of 2024. With the OCCC’s support of Moonwalkers, and in keeping with its innovation leadership position, Shift Robotics has committed to the OCCC that it will be the first public entity to receive Moonwalkers X when they are available.

Shift Robotics hosted Test-Walk in Moonwalkers this week at CES 2024 in the Shift Robotics at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The award-winning Orange County Convention Center provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the OCCC has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year.

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