The world’s first Cybathlon is coming next October 2016.
The Cybathlon is a competition for former pilots with disabilities who use assistive robotic devices. The event will debut for the very first time in October.
Over the summer, ETH Zurich, an engineering and technology university that’s organizing the event, held a summer trial for the athletes.
Here’s a peek inside the world’s first Cybathlon and everything you need to know about it:
The Cybathlon is meant to show what people with assistive robotic devices are capable of accomplishing, while also showing barriers for people with disabilities that must be addressed, Robert Riener, the main organizer of the event, told Tech Insider.
“Most assistive technologies are not satisfactory yet, and do not provide good daily life support,” Riener,who is also a professor of sensory-motory systems at ETH Zurich, said.
Cybathlon will provide an opportunity for researchers to see what kind of improvements can be made in bionic systems, Riener said.
There are six different disciplines athletes can compete in, from the brain-computer interface (BCI) race to the powered exoskeleton race.
The other events are the powered leg prosthesis race, the powered arm prosthesis race, the powered wheelchair race, and the powered electrical stimulation bike race.
Participants in the BCI race will use the technology to control avatars in a computer game using nothing but their minds. The avatars will have to perform tasks like avoiding obstacles and accelerating.
When people are hooked up to BCI technology, it gives them the ability to control an external device with their mind — sort of like mastering the force or telekinesis.
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