Cybathlon 2020 announced
In today’s press conference with the executive board of ETH Zurich an official announcement was made: The Cybathlon will take place once again in Zurich in 2020 – organised by ETH Zurich
Behind the scenes, planning for the next Cybathlon has been taking place since the successful premiere in October last year. The success of the premiere was the final push to convince the organising committee and the heads of ETH Zurich that the Cybathlon must continue, also under the umbrella of ETH Zurich. This continuation will come in May 2020, but this time the Cybathlon will be planned as a two-day event. Although the event will take place in the vicinity of Zurich, the exact location will be confirmed at a later date. In the upcoming weeks and months, the organisation committee, under the leadership of Roland Sigrist and Dario Wyss will push ahead with planning.
The disciplines focusing on tasks of every day life will remain
The six disciplines from 2016 (Brain-Computer Interface Race, FES Bike Race, Powered Arm Prosthesis Race, Powered Leg Prosthesis Race, Powered Exoskeleton Race, Powered Wheelchair Race) will remain in the programme of Cybathlon 2020. The tasks will continue to be relevant to everyday life, but will reflect advances in research. In addition to these races, there are also plans for further disciplines, including for those with sensory disabilities such as blindness and deafness. Breaking up the events into two days will give the events more space: On the first day the qualification rounds will take place, with the finals occurring on the second day. Just like in the premiere event, there will be an attractive secondary programme, wherein the visitors can try out the disciplines for themselves and understand the issues surrounding disability in a practical way.
Worldwide “Cybathlon Series” spanning the next three years
Individual races will be organised together with universities worldwide to create a “Cybathlon Series” with one race per discipline planned per year. The aim of the Cybathlon Series is to open up the theme of disability and assistive technology for discussion worldwide and to offer technology developers the opportunity to showcase their platforms and to present at an integrated symposium or workshop. Discussions with interested universities are already under way. The “Cybathlon Series” will not serve as qualifications races per se, but will be organised in close cooperation with the Cybathlon organisers. As before, teams who wish to participate in Cybathlon 2020 must ensure that their pilots and technologies are fully integrated and that the technology is fully fit and safe for purpose. Participation in the “Cybathlon Series” serves as a proof of meeting the competition criteria.
“Cybathlon eXhibitions” and school programme for interaction
With “Cybathlon eXhibitions” a new format will be established to promote the interaction between with public at fairs, conferences and festivals. With “Show races” and Hands-on-demos, visitors gain real personal information on uses and limitations of technologies for people with disabilities and discussions are already ongoing with interested organisations. Alongside this, there is a school programme planned, whereby school classes can work on a project together with people with disabilities and ETH-researchers, i.e. they can design a prosthesis prototype.