Portrait photo of CYBATHLON Team

EXO / Exoskeleton Race



About the Team

TWIICE is a lower limb exoskeleton developed by the EPFL research group REHAssist to enable people with complete and incomplete spinal cord injury to stand up and walk once again. The project ”TWIICE” started in 2015 and since then, the project counts on the strong motivation of the pilot Silke Pan.
“The value of the exoskeleton TWIICE is in its modularity and ability to simply adapt the design for different lower limb impairments and pathologies”, says Dr. Mohamed Bouri head of the EPFL research group REHAssist. The exoskeleton allows its users to gain independence and mobility. Moreover, it aims to improve the social well-being of people with disabilities by helping them to reconnect with their community.
«Teams do not compete against each other but all together against disability» asserts the Cybathlon team leader Dr. Tristan Vouga
At the CYBATHLON 2016, TWIICE already entered the finals with their pilot Silke Pan and finished 4th. Since 2017, TWIICE has been participating in the Cybathlon Experience. Together, the athlete Silke Pan and her team have won the competition three years in a row. This experience strengthened the team and keeps on inspiring them to always improve their exoskeleton.

About the Pilot

"The show must go on!" This motto has accompanied Silke Pan since her childhood. Gymnastics, acrobatics and dance meant the world to her, as a teenager she was in the national teams of water and trampoline jumping. But her true love was circus artistry. After graduating from the Berlin State Ballet and Artists School, she enchanted the crowds with her handstand and trapeze performances. At her dream job she met the man of her dreams, both were acrobats at the Swiss Circus Nock. But the happiness they shared was followed by a stroke of fate. During training they fell off the trapeze, Silke broke two thoracic vertebrae and was paralyzed. While still at the Nottwil Paraplegic Center, she announced: "In 15 years in show business, I have learned to keep smiling, even if it hurts inside. The show must go on, this applies more than ever before".

Silke and her husband trained as balloon artists, and she also became a world-class handbiker. In 2015, she came in second at the world championships in Nottwil––the place where she had fought for her life eight years before. In 2016 Silke took part in the CYBATHLON with a team from the ETH Lausanne, and with an exoskeleton she made her first steps since the accident. "I want to evolve personally and help drive innovation," she explains her commitment. The exoskeleton adapted to her is not yet suitable for everyday use, but Silke has a dream and is giving everything so that one day it will come true: "With the help of the exoskeleton, I want to be able to dance again.”


November 13th 2020, 12:00 am

TWIICE - Team Portrait

November 13th 2020, 12:00 am

TWIICE - Silke Pan

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