LEG / Leg Prosthesis Race
About the Team
"In our opinion, the lack of sensory feedback is a major factor why many don’t want to use prostheses. By providing this feedback, we want to increase confidence in the mobility of and acceptance for prostheses." explains Giacomo Valle. He is the manager of the Swiss Neurolegs team from ETH Zurich. This group has set itself the goal of restoring the superficial sensory feedback for the missing leg by means of portable sensors in the shoes. It is a non-invasive and non-permanent technical approach that can be applied to any commercially available solution.
Neuroleg is made up of scientists, researchers and students from different fields, and by combining forces they want to create a tool that can effectively help the user in everyday life. By participating at CYBATHLON the team wants to get closer to that goal: "CYBATHLON is driving research forward. But what is crucial for us is that it’s about people with disabilities in everyday life, it’s not an athletic competition nor is it about top athletes.”
About the Pilot
"I left my office for a tour on my Harley, expecting to return to work the next morning – but I didn't return until eight months later." Stefan Poth recalls. In a city, a car suddenly drove out of a queue into his lane, hit him on his motorbike and thereby crushed his left leg. Relatively quickly, Stefan found a way to cope with his new situation, including the fact that the accident was someone else's fault: "I lost a lot of blood and was unstable at first. My leg had to be amputated at the knee. I quickly overcame the phase of ‘could it have gone differently?’ and learned to accept my fate."
Since 1996 Stefan has been an entrepreneur and headhunter in marketing and communication. He often acts as a consultant and mentor for people who are looking for a career change. In his spare time, he plays wheelchair tennis. He was a tennis player before but getting the timing right with his wheelchair was a new challenge. "The accident is one of the reasons why I‘m so active today. I enjoy tackling and achieving new things and being able to determine my own life. That's one of the reasons why I'm competing at CYBATHLON." Stefan continues.