Cybathlon is the first championship for bionic athletes, and is set to take place in Zurich, Switzerland in October 2016. The brain-child of the Swiss National Centre for Competence in Research, this unique and exciting event will champion the best examples of robotic technology.
The athletes, or ‘pilots’, involved will rely on robotic equipment or prostheses to perform daily tasks, as a result of spinal injuries, loss of motor neuron function, cognitive impairment and other injuries or birth defects.
The six events are a bike race, leg prosthetics race, powered wheelchair race, a powered exoskeleton race, arm prosthetics race and a Brain Computer Interface race for those competitors with full body paralysis.
Whereas the Paralympic Games showcases the fastest or strongest para-athletes, the disciplines of the Cybathlon will focus on how well the robotic equipment helps the athletes go about their daily lives.
As well as the victors of each discipline receiving medals, so too will the developers of the equipment they use, in an effort to encourage innovation. Eligibility criteria is strict, and there are detailed rules for each discipline.
The event will be jointly organised by ETH Zurich, which is a university focusing on technology, and H+H Management. Preparation is already underway, and teams can secure early bird registration between now and the end of 2014.
As our understanding of Cybathlon grows, so will this section develop.