Championship for athletes with disabilities - using robotic assistive devices
A world premiere
In 2016, ETH Zurich organised the very first Cybathlon. Individuals with physical disabilities competed side by side in six demanding disciplines, using the latest assistive technologies.
The audience could watch the athletes as they tackled flights of stairs in the new wheel chairs and proved their speed and skill using the most up-to-date modern prostheses. The various races tested how the competitors cope with specific challenges and activities from everyday life. There were races for athletes with powered arm and leg prostheses, for those wearing a robotic exoskeleton, and for powered wheelchairs. There was also a race for cyclists using electrical muscle stimulation, and even a brain-computer interface race.
Cybathlon 2020 announced
Behind the scenes, planning for the next Cybathlon has been taking place since the successful premiere. The success of the premiere was the final push to convince the organising committee and the heads of ETH Zurich that the Cybathlon must continue, also under the umbrella of ETH Zurich. This continuation will come in May 2020, but this time the Cybathlon will be planned as a two-day event. Although the event will take place in the vicinity of Zurich, the exact location will be confirmed at a later date. In the upcoming weeks and months, the organisation committee, under the leadership of Roland Sigrist and Dario Wyss will push ahead with planning. Read more.
"ETH Zurich stands for teaching and research at the highest level, and for the transfer of this knowledge to economy and the society at large. Competition is so often the trigger for innovation, and so, on the initiative of Professor Robert Riener, we have created the Cybathlon. Taking part in this tournament are teams drawn from all around the world, made up of people with disabilities and those developing the latest technology. And the goal here is not to jump higher, run faster or leap further, but to tackle the challenges of everyday life with the help of the latest high-precision technical aids. ETH Zurich is a leader in medical robotics and rehabilitation; the Cybathlon is proof of how we use our knowledge to serve society."
Professor Lino Guzzella, President of ETH Zurich
Find more information about the Cybathlon 2016 in form of a press release as well as media pictures and video footage here: