On 13 and 14 November, teams from all over the world will be brought together on a unique platform as they compete against each other from locations around the globe. So how much do you know about the CYBATHLON 2020 Global Edition? Whether it’s tackling stairs in a wheelchair, navigating a vehicle by thought alone, or tying shoes with a prosthetic arm – at the CYBATHLON , people with disabilities put technical assistance systems to the test. A quiz series of ETH’s corporate communications departement takes you on an expedition through the world of ETH Zurich. This quiz is all about the CYBATHLON 2020, a championship initiated by ETH Zurich in which people with disabilities compete against each other to complete everyday tasks using state-of-the-art technical assistance systems.
TWIICE is a set of actuated segments at the thigh and the shank, each one rigidly interfaced with the human lower limb associated segment. A smart controller coordinates these parts to move according to desired gait trajectories that enable a person with spinal cord injury, like Pan, to walk. Wearing TWIICE, Pan started by learning all the gestures of the circuit with slow and deliberate movements. The training sessions continue, as Pan continues to step-up the intensity and tempo of her movements to increase her speed. During the race, she will be followed by 2 scientists to ensure her safety. Improvement of the exoskeleton propelled by Pan and the competition “Since the beginning of the training sessions, the exoskeleton is in constant improvement thanks to Silke’s input and her drive to win,” explains Tristan Vouga, EPFL PhD student and co-founder of the TWIICE exoskeleton. “We gained 4 minutes in the last month and 45 seconds during the last training session alone.
The latest upgrade consists of a more flexible foot that can conform to the terrain. More generally, the latest version of the exoskeleton is much more ergonomic and provides more autonomy for its pilot, so Silke for instance can now go directly from her wheelchair into the exoskeleton by herself.” A major improvement since the 2016 edition of the Cybathlon is that the latest TWIICE exoskeleton is more compact due to improved design of the motors. According to Vouga, the latest model is therefore easier to use: it is closer to the body because the motors are 2 times more compact and 2 times stronger, thanks to a collaboration with Swiss industry partner Sonceboz SA specialized in electrical motor manufacturing.
The 2nd Cybathlon goes virtual to comply with coronavirus measures A virtual version of the exoskeleton race will be broadcast at url by the Cybathlon committee on Saturday, November 14th from 15:00 – 16:00 Swiss Time, based on pre-recorded performances of each athlete
Silke Pan wearing an improved exoskeleton designed by TWIICE, she will represent Switzerland at the second edition of CYBATHLON, an international cybernetics race organized by ETH Zurich Watch the livestream here on 13 and 14 November https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en
Because of the coronavirus situation, this year’s competition will be a special kind of #phygital event. The international participating teams – over 60! – will not travel to Zurich; they’ll set up their own local infrastructures and join the competition from their home countries, with the support from Cybathlon officials on-site acting as referees and performing the required technical and medical checks. The races and background reports will be streamed LIVE on www.cybathlon.com