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Cybathlon tournament showcases high-tech devices for people with disabilities

November 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

CYBATHLON 2020 Global Edition, 10.11.2020 ETH Zurich Hoenggerberg. (ETH/Alessandro Della Bella)

Cybathlon is a global competition that brings together people with physical disabilities to compete in everyday tasks, using state-of-the-art assistance technologies.

Scientists from Imperial College London (ICL) have developed an affordable semi-autonomous wheelchair which operates based on the user's eye movements, and which featured in Cybathlon's Powered Wheelchair Race.

Another team from ICL has created a bionic arm prosthetic that includes "sensory feedback which enables the recognition of certain objects that feel rough," explained PhD student Irene Mendez.

The ICL wheelchair team competed in the powered wheelchair race, but was unable to be included in Cybathlon's official results due to a technicality involving the race set-up.

Despite the setbacks for the ICL teams, the true ethos of Cybathlon triumphed -- to develop technologies that help people with disabilities.

Marianne Lucien, Cybathlon's International Communications Officer told CNN that the competition can accelerate the commercial development of the technologies, citing a team that competed at both the 2016 and 2020 events.

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