CYBATHLON Challenges February 2024: Disciplines and Tasks

24th November 2023
CYBATHLON Arm Prosthesis Race during the Challenges in May 2022 | © CYBATHLON

CYBATHLON Arm Prosthesis Race during the Challenges in May 2022


The CYBATHLON Challenges in February 2024 will mark a significant milestone leading up to CYBATHLON 2024. During these Challenges, teams will exhibit their technological advancements and pilots' skills in seven disciplines, both in Zurich and remotely from their home hubs. People with disabilities will showcase their abilities using cutting-edge assistive technology tailored to their specific tasks. This event serves as a unique opportunity for developers, engineers, and researchers to collaborate with people with disabilities early in the development phase, fostering innovation in assistive technology. This article introduces the disciplines and the specific tasks that teams and pilots will tackle on 2 February as part of the CYBATHLON Challenges.

On 2 February 2024, the third and final CYBATHLON Challenges will take place on the Road to CYBATHLON 2024. Teams will compete against each other and showcase their new technology and the pilot’s skills in four selected tasks of their discipline of the CYBATHLON 2024 Races & Rules. The Challenges will be held in Zurich, Switzerland as well as decentrally at the teams' homes.

At the Challenges, CYBATHLON will be holding competitions in seven disciplines including two new ones for the first time, Vision Assistance and Assistance Robot Race. In these two disciplines, people with disabilities solve everyday tasks with the help of intelligent visual assistance technologies or robot assistants. The ongoing competitions are a good opportunity to test procedures in these two new disciplines for 2024. The other five existing disciplines for this event include the Arm Prosthesis Race, Wheelchair Race, Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Race, Exoskeleton Race and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Bike Race.

CYBATHLON Challenges Assistance Robot Race 2023 | © CYBATHLON

CYBATHLON Challenges Assistance Robot Race 2023


CYBATHLON is very excited to witness how the teams and their pilots will perform the following tasks using their cutting-edge assistive technologies in each discipline:

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Race

The Brain-Computer Interface Race is a competition that showcases the incredible potential of brain-computer interface technology. In this discipline, people with tetraplegia or locked-in syndrome use BCIs to control various robotic devices with their brain signals, such as computer-based robotic arm, computer cursor and wheelchair, solving a series of challenging tasks.

Furniture (Device – Wheelchair)

  • Task: Control a wheelchair avatar to cross a virtual room
  • Test: Avoid obstacles to reach a destination safely (using an electric wheelchair)

Ice Machine – (Device: Robotic Arm)

  • Task: Position a glass under the ice machine and hold it still to collect ice cubes
  • Test: Ability to hold a position for some time and wait

Computer Screen – (Device: Cursor)

  • Task: Navigate a cursor on the screen and click on the target icon
  • Test: Ability to control a cursor on the screen

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Bike Race

The Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race is a competition that showcases the incredible potential of assistive technology in the realm of cycling. In this discipline, people with lower limb disabilities after spinal cord injury (SCI) use FES systems to pedal specialised bikes called trikes, thereby stimulating their paralyzed leg muscles to compete in a thrilling race.

FES Cycling Exercise – Stationary

  • Task: Compete in stationary FES cycling
  • Test: Use an intelligent control device to initiate a movement after a spinal cord injury

Arm Prosthesis Race

The Arm Prosthesis Race is a competition that highlights the advances in prosthetic technology. In this discipline, persons with upper limb amputations compete in a series of dexterous challenges, using advanced myoelectric prosthetic arms to perform tasks that mimic daily life activities.


  • Task: Use a variety of hand tools in the context of do-it-yourself type work
  • Test: Dexterous use of hand tools by prosthetic hand and wrist

Hanging Laundry

  • Task: Hang up the hooded sweater on the clothesline using a hanger
  • Test: Arm Prosthetics are to be practical and compatible with daily use

Serving Food

  • Task: Carry a casserole dish and a frying pan from the stove to a location on a table
  • Test: Ability to grasp and carry objects of significant weight from one location to another


  • Task: Stack cups into a vertical pyramid
  • Test: Maintenance of a tight grip during postural changes of the arm

Exoskeleton Race

The Exoskeleton Race is a competition that spotlights the potential of robotic exoskeletons. In this discipline, people with mobility impairments, such as spinal cord injuries, utilise advanced exoskeleton technology to navigate a challenging course, overcoming obstacles and tasks that mimic real-world scenarios.

Moving Parcel

  • Task: Carry a box to a targeted location while walking in their exoskeleton
  • Test: Carrying objects while in-home use of exoskeletons can be of high practical value

Free Walking

  • Task: Walk a predefined distance without the use of their crutches
  • Test: Ability to use hands for other tasks or gestures than maintaining crutches


  • Task: Pass between individual pieces of furniture avoiding any collisions with several robots that are roaming the task space
  • Test: Ability to navigate around static and moving objects to reach a desired destination


  • Task: Navigate a quasi-random sequence of wooden boxes of varying height and length
  • Test: Ability to walk on irregular surfaces

Wheelchair Race

The Wheelchair Race is a competition that showcases the capacity of assistive technology particularly in the area of wheelchairs. In this discipline, people with varying levels of mobility impairments compete in specialised motorised wheelchairs, overcoming variable patterns of stones and unevenness in rough terrain, climbing up and down the steps or manipulating objects that are related to personal mobility.


  • Task: Navigate their wheelchair so that half their thighs are under a table without moving any furniture
  • Test: Ability to drive a wheelchair close to a table in such a way that the thighs are under the table


  • Task: Pick up a bottle from the floor and place it on a table
  • Test: Ability to deal with randomly scattered objects to remove the obstructions


  • Task: Pass between individual pieces of furniture avoiding collisions with several robots that are roaming the task space
  • Test: Ability to navigate around static and moving objects to reach a desired destination

Rocky Terrain

  • Task: Navigate a stony path with their wheelchairs
  • Test: Ability to navigate wheelchairs on uneven surfaces - paths in nature

Assistance Robot Race

The Assistance Robot Race is a competition that demonstrates the capabilities of robotic technology in assisting people with severe motor impairments or missing limbs in their daily lives. In this discipline, teams from around the world design and operate autonomous robots, completing tasks that show human-robot interaction, recognise and manipulate various objects, and avoid obstacles on the track.


  • Task: Remove a parcel from a mailbox and transport it to a target location
  • Test: Ability to grasp objects from within confined space with robotic grippers


  • Task: Use a toothbrush
  • Test: Ability to handle objects with heterogeneous properties – shape, compliance and texture


  • Task: Hang a scarf on a clothesline with the help of the assistance robots
  • Test: Assistance Robot’s ability to carry out a multitude of manipulation tasks of a wide variety of objects during household work


  • Task: Empty a dishwasher
  • Test: Ability to empty a dishwasher of clean tableware given assistance robot’s challenge to grasp objects due to space and different ways of placing the tableware

Vision Assistance Race

The Vision Assistance Race is a competition that spotlights the intersection of technology and visual impairment. In this discipline, people with varying degrees of blindness or visual impairment use innovative technology like wearable cameras, sensors, robot dogs and navigation aids to complete a challenging course that simulates daily life activities.


  • Task: Navigate through a maze of obstacles that are located at different heights
  • Test: Ability to detect objects at different heights to avoid collisions and injury


  • Task: Follow a path without touching the ground on the side
  • Test: Ability to detect changes in terrain and manage when the walking cane gets stuck

Touch Screen

  • Task: Navigate a touch screen and order a predefined item from a variety of foods and drinks
  • Test: Ability to access and manoeuvre user interfaces on touch screens

Empty Seats

  • Task: Identify the empty seat
  • Test: Ability to find an empty seat in places like on a train or in a theatre

Promoting Collaboration from the Very Beginning

The CYBATHLON Challenges give research and development teams the chance to incorporate people with disabilities from the very beginning of their development process and evaluate their assistance solutions in a competitive environment in preparation for the main CYBATHLON Competition. The CYBATHLON organizes two to three Challenges during the four-year period up until the CYBATHLON Edition. The teams are given two or more tasks from the CYBATHLON Races and Rules, which the competition management has prepared at home in order to conduct the competition.

More information about the CYBATHLON Challenges at  

If you have any queries about CYBATHLON events or if you and your team would like to participate in the CYBATHLON 2024, contact us at

The Challenges on 2 February 2024 will be live-streamed on

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