Cybathlon 2016: The first international bionic games
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The world’s first international competition for bionic athletes is to take place in Zurich in 2016. The Cybathlon championship for robot-assisted parathletes is funded by a group of Swiss robotics companies.

Modeled on the classic Olympic games, the Cybathlon games are designed exclusively for people with prosthetic and bionic implants or spinal cord injuries.

Cybathlon disciplines

The athletes, or so-called ‚pilots‘, can take part in a number of disciplines where the bionic technology ranges from cerebral to muscular. Using nothing but the power of thought, participants with spinal cord injuries will compete in a computer racing game by means of a brain-computer interface.

Paraplegic and tetraplegic athletes will also take part in a bike race by means of pedaling with a „functional electrical stimulation device“.

Cerebral Bionic Olympics

Ⓒ D’Arc. Studio Associates Architects

Athletes with powered leg exoprosthetics will also race head to head in a course that contains numerous obstacles that will test the agility of the bionic technology.

Pilots with powered arm prosthetics will be tasked with completing a wire loop course and a hand assessment producure in which they must solve tasks using the prosthetic arm.

Cybathlon Wire Loop

Ⓒ D’Arc. Studio Associates Architects

Fostering development and awareness

In addition to the existing focus on participation at the Paralympics, the Cybathlon places an additional emphasis on the technological component. According to the event organisers, the goal of the competitions is:

  • to promote the development of novel assistive systems and reinforce the scientific exchange,

  • to improve the public awareness about the challenges and opportunities of assistive technologies, and

  • to enable pilots with disabilities to compete in races, making this a unique event

Also key event for the robotics and wearable tech industry to show off their latest models, the Cybathlon is a landmark event in the field of robotics. The Cybatlon event also permits certain devices that had previously been excluded from paralympics.

Tickets for the event on October 8, 2016 go on sale in early 2016.

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