In October, Zurich played host to the most innovative and groundbreaking robotics from across the world, where over 400cybernetically-
augmented competitors took part in the Cybathlon championship.
The event, its first ever edition, took place at a sold out Swiss Arena in Kloten, where a 4,600 strong crowd enjoyed an inspirational demonstration of just how far assistive technology has come in recent years.
In all, supporters saw 66 teams from over 25 countries competing across six disciplines, some with prosthetic arms and legs, some with powered exoskeletons, and some with brain-computer interfaces, but all with the shared goal of highlighting how novel technologies can assist people with disabilities in daily life.
A total of 400 contestants took part in the six disciplines, which were:
The powered leg prosthesis race (leg)
The powered wheelchair race (wheel)
The functional electrical stimulation bike race (FES)
The brain-computer interface race (BCI)
The powered arm prosthesis race (ARM)
The powered exoskeleton race (EXO)
Professor for Sensory-Motor Systems at ETH Zurich Robert Riener is the man behind the event, and he joined the capacity crowd along with 150 international media representatives to cheer on the competitors in the event which was streamed live Swiss radio and television (SRF).
The event was an unqualified success and Lino Guzzella, president of ETH Zurich, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics university in the city, was delighted that the very first Cybathlon had achieved its goal of encouraging researchers and developers to make more progress on assistive technologies. He told ETH Zurich’s
“What began as ETH Professor Robert Riener’s vision has burgeoned into a major international event. Today, the Cybathlon thrilled spectators from all over the world and demonstrated most impressively just what technology has to offer in assisting humans”.
[Media Sources: ETH]