CYBATHLON Challenges, March 2023: the second staging

14th December 2022
SmartArm pilot Christophe Huchet performs CYBATHLON Challenges tasks | © CYBATHLON / ETH Zurich

SmartArm pilot Christophe Huchet performs CYBATHLON Challenges tasks


For the second time, ETH Zurich’s non-profit project, CYBATHLON, is holding competitions for people with disabilities at several locations simultaneously. International teams of developers can register in six disciplines until January 15, 2023, for the CYBATHLON Challenges on March 29-30, 2023. The special feature: for the first time, teams will be challenged in a race with intelligent vision assistance technologies for blind people and in a race with assistance robots for people with severe arm and leg impairments.

In CYBATHLON competitions, teams of developers and their pilots compete in solving everyday tasks with new assistance systems in eight disciplines: Arm and Leg Prosthesis Race, Wheelchair Race, Exoskeleton Race, Vision Assistance Race, Assistance Robot Race, Brain-Computer Interface Race and the Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race.

Following the successful first staging of the new format in May 2022, the second CYBATHLON Challenges will take place in March 2023 in six of the eight CYBATHLON disciplines. “The CYBATHLON Challenges encourage the development teams to test their devices at an early stage to participate in the CYBATHLON 2024. The goal is to foster collaboration in the development process between the development teams and the pilots, i.e. the people with disabilities participating in the competition, from the very beginning” emphasizes Roland Sigrist, Co-Director and Head of Competition at CYBATHLON.

While in May 2022 the teams had to set up and solve one of ten tasks from the CYBATHLON 2024 Races & Rules at their competition site, in March 2023 each team has to master two everyday tasks. For example, pilots must climb up and down a ladder in the Leg Prosthesis Race or navigate between pieces of furniture in a "crowd" represented by small robots in the Wheelchair Race. Each team has two attempts to complete both tasks in the shortest time possible. The team that solves both tasks at the best time wins.

A total of nine teams participated in the May 2022 CYBATHLON Challenges - five in the Arm Prosthesis Race and two each in the Exoskeleton and Wheelchair Races. "Teams around the world are working hard on their new assistive devices to be able to register for the CYBATHON Challenges in March 2023. A total of six teams per discipline can participate" explains Sigrist. In the Arm Prosthesis Race, it will definitely be exciting again. The French team SmartArM, with pilot Christophe Huchet, the winner of the May 2022 Challenges, and the second-placed Swedish team e-Opra with Magnus Niska will meet for the second time and promise a dramatic head-to-head race.

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