The second edition of the CYBATHLON concluded on November 13/14, 2020. 50 teams from 20 countries competed against one another in the CYBATHLON 2020 Global Edition, with the pilots solving day-to-day tasks with the aid of state-of-the-art assistance systems. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the teams competed in their own countries, in a specially designed «lockdown mode.» Until the races were broadcast in the live stream, the results stayed a secret – even to the teams themselves. The viewing audience was therefore able to witness many emotional moments of victory on computer and mobile phone screens.
There were six disciplines: In the virtual race using a braincomputer interface (BCI), a bicycle race with electrical muscle stimulation (FES), and an obstacle course with arm prostheses (ARM), leg prostheses (LEG), robotic exoskeletons (EXO), or motorized wheelchairs (WHL). The six disciplines were expanded to include new challenges with relevance for daily life – reflecting the technical progress made in recent years. For example, the pilot in the wheelchair discipline now had to open a door using a robotic arm. In the obstacle course for arm prostheses, there was a «haptic box» in which the competitor had to identify the shape of an object by touch.
Roland Sigrist, director of the CYBATHLON, said, «The teams in the CYBATHLON are not only fighting for victory, but also for progress in assistance technologies for people with disabilities.» That is exactly where the partnership with maxon is vital. Out of the 50 teams participating, one in four teams were using maxon products. Five of them even made
it onto the podium. This was a big success for maxon. We are very proud to be a partner of such a significant project, which is now into its third round. The next CYBATHLON will take place in 2024 – once again in Switzerland.