“CYBATHLON is a unique competition for people with disabilities that promotes inclusion and drives the development of assistive technologies.”CYBATHLON, ETH Zürich
The CYBATHLON is a counterpart to the Paralympic Games, which do not allow the use of “active” assistive technologies. This event put to the test the latest developments in robotic leg and arm prosthetics, wearable exoskeletons, powered wheelchairs, functional electrical muscle stimulation and brain-computer interfaces, originating from university research laboratories and innovative companies across the world. Teams compete on courses designed to test how well suited a given technology is to helping its user with everyday tasks.
The aim is not only to stimulate research on these devices, but also and more importantly to promote disability and body repair technologies. It offers a sports and scientific event capable of showing to a large audience the reality of assistive technologies (too often mediatised in a de-realistic way) as well as the reality of the daily lives of people with “assistive devices”, since the events are essentially made up of everyday tasks.
The CYBATHLON 2020
Smart ArM team attended the CYBATHLON 2020 which took place on November 13-14, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the teams competed for the first time in different time zones and locations, under identical conditions, before the videos were broadcast by the organizers in Zurich. We competed in our local hub in Paris, France. Despite a complex organization for everyone due to health restrictions, 51 teams from 20 different countries around the world were able to take part in this edition.
We hope to participate in the CYBATHLON 2024 which will be held in Zürich, Switzerland, and why not in other CYBATHLON Series? Stay tuned!
The Powered Arm Prosthesis Race
Our team Smart ArM is the only french team participating to the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race. In this race, pilots using an arm prosthesis must solve a variety of tasks such as cutting bread for breakfast, hanging up the washing or driving a nail into the wood using a hammer. It tests a lot of abilities like fine motor skills, strength, multiple types of grips and the coordination of both hands. Moreover, a completely new task called the “Haptic Box” demands the identification of objects without any visual feedback. This means the pilots have to identify the objects of different shapes and materials only through contact with their prosthesis.