The Paralympic Games are great, but what the technology-assisted athletes of the future really need is an event to call their own. Introducing Cybathlon 2016 — a championship for robot-assisted parathletes.
The competition, which is being organized on behalf of the Swiss National Competence Center of Research in Robotics (NCCR Robotics), will be held at Hallenstadion in Zurich on October 8, 2016. It's meant for racing pilots with disabilities who require advanced assistive devices, including robotic technologies.
According to the website,
The competitions are comprised by different disciplines that apply the most modern powered knee prostheses, wearable arm prostheses, powered exoskeletons, powered wheelchairs, electrically stimulated muscles and novel brain-computer interfaces. The assistive devices can include commercially available products provided by companies, but also prototypes developed by research labs. There will be two medals for each competition, one for the pilot, who is driving the device, and one for the provider of the device.
Details of the various disciplines can be found here.
The point of the event is to promote the development of advanced assistive systems and to improve the public's awareness about the challenges and opportunities of these technologies. The organizers are also hoping to see pilots with disabilities compete in the races.