Bionic Olympics for competitors using 'AT' staged in Switzerland

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Monday, 10 October 2016 08:36am

In what is claimed as a world first, the Cybathlon Championship was held in Switzerland on 8 October, featuring six contests based around every day obstacles, with disabled athletes using and controlling Assistive Technology (AT) and/or robotic devices.

Cybathlon Championships logo

Cybathlon Championships logo

The challenges include cutting bread, climbing stairs, unwrapping a sugar cube, and fitting a light bulb all feature as competitions in an event which has been dubbed the world’s first ‘Bionic Olympics’. The aim of these games, that took place in Kloten Switzerland, was to showcase how technology can help people with disabilities in daily life.

Cybathlon was created by Robert Riener, the head of Health Sciences and Technology, and Professor of Sensory-Motor Systems, at Switzerland’s ETH Zurich university. Riener told e-Access Bulletin that he was inspired to start the event when he decided through his daily work that “current assistive technologies are not functional enough and not accepted by many people.”

Cybathlon provides a platform for the development of novel AT solutions that are useful on a daily basis. Through these games, the organisers are seeking to “remove barriers between people with disabilities, the public and technology developers” they state on their website.

Find out more information on the Cybathlon website.

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