FES / Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race
About the Team
Since 2019, a group of scientists and students at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) has been researching technological applications that enable paraplegics to pursue physical activities. "We can use a concrete project to show master students how to achieve a goal together and what it takes to do so," explains Emilia Ambrosini, assistant professor at POLIMI. She leads the POLIMIRehaMove team, with which pilot Andrea Gatti participates in CYBATHLON 2020. He will ride the RehaMove 3 FES Cycling System which the team has received from health technology company HASOMED.
The aim of the POLIMIRehaMove team is to make paraplegics, their relatives, politicians and society aware of the importance of physical activity for people with complete paraplegia. Emilia Ambrosini specifies: "Our experience shows that physical activity is central to significantly improving the quality of life and self-esteem of affected persons. The opportunity should be available to everyone and should also be offered in public fitness centers, for example".
About the Pilot
In March 2019, Andrea Gatti was still riding his conventional bike, then the accident happened. Since then he is paraplegic. Less than a year after his accident, the Italian began training with the FES bike. "I have always been into sports and competitive, but never on a professional level. The FES bike now gives me a new incentive to train once or twice a week". The Italian lives in Como with his wife and two daughters. Since February 2020 he is part of the POLIMIRehaMove team. "I am happy to be part of the project and thus to be able to support the research. I hope that the trike will become cheaper and easier to use. In daily life there are still many obstacles and difficulties. I hope that thanks to projects such as CYBATHLON, science will be able to further improve our quality of life in the future and that one day it will be possible for people to walk again after such a serious accident", Andrea explains.