Bionic Prostheses will have their Olympic Games

April 6, 2016 | 12:00
Bionic Prostheses will have their Olympic Games
Bionic Prostheses will have their Olympic Games
In October 2016 Zurich (Switzerland) will host the first competition for athletes equipped with bionic aids: robotic prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, exoskeletons, adapted bicycles and brain‑machine interfaces.  The latter allow quadriplegics to compete in video games, controlling their avatar by thoughts alone.  These bionic devices, with more and more technology in them, may allow athletes so equipped to beat able-bodied athletes, but that is not the aim!

This type of augmented reality with robot assistance is at the heart of these new bionic games called Cybathlon. The purpose is not just to offer these cyborgs the opportunity to compete in a great sporting competition, but also to inform the wider public about the latest work on artificial prostheses, and to stimulate exchanges between research teams. The technological advancement sought in this competition is not for the sole purpose of sporting excellence. but is repaid in the prostheses designed for general use.

Each of the events is oriented towards a type of handicap:
  • Bionic lower arms: move a ring as fast as possible along a winding wire without touching it, then manipulate with precision various objects and accessories of different shapes;
  • Quadriplegics: control, by their thoughs, their avatar in video games
  • Race for “recumbent electric bicycles” for people with spinal damage
  • Running race for those with robotic leg prostheses
  • Obstacle course for exoskeletons
  • Obstacle course for motorised wheelchairs

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