The world’s second ever Cybathlon competition will take place on 13 and 14 November 2020 in a new global format. More than 60 teams from all over the world will start in their respective home countries. The Cybathlon organizers and participants will embed content into a live programme and broadcast delivered via a new online platform. Ten Swiss teams will compete locally on the campus of ETH Zurich.
The Cybathlon, a unique championship in which people with physical disabilities compete against each other using state-of-the-art technical assistance systems, will go forward as "Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition" on 13 and 14 November. Surmounting the inherent challenges of hosting a competitive event in the midst of a pandemic, this newly developed competition model combines regional COVID compliant physical events with virtual access. Currently 67 teams from 23 countries have registered to participate and will set up the Cybathlon competition infrastructure in their home countries. This means that the pilots will not start simultaneously and directly next to each other, but independently of other teams.
Largest Hub in Zurich
Some teams from the same country; however, will compete side-by-side in country hubs. In total, there will be about 13 hubs around the globe. The largest of these hubs will be at ETH Zurich. No fewer than ten Swiss teams will compete against each other in the Arch_Tec_Lab, a large hall for construction robots on ETH Zurich’s Hönggerberg campus. Four of the teams stem from ETH Zurich research; the others represent other national universities and organisations.
The Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition will feature the same six race disciplines as the 2016 competition: the Brain-Computer Interface Race, Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race, Powered Arm Prosthesis Race, Powered Leg Prosthesis Race, Powered Exoskeleton Race, and the Powered Wheelchair Race. However, because the teams have to build up their own infrastructure, Cybathlon organisers revised the content of some of the races to ensure fairness in varying global conditions. The biggest change relates to the Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race where it would be nearly impossible to ensure equitable race surfaces. In the bike race, all pilots will use identical Smart Trainers - a kind of interactive home trainer.
The Cybathlon organizers will launch an online platform in early November at www.cybathlon.com. The new multi-media platform enables spectators and members of the media all over the world to follow the races. Teams will integrate their film footage from their race venues and hubs into a live programme, subtitled in various languages, and translated into international sign language. This Cybathlon programme consists of a ten-hour theme day on Friday, 13 November and will include not only the qualification races, but also numerous supplementary contributions featuring the pilots, background reports on inclusion, in-depth look at the technologies, and interviews with experts. The four best teams in each discipline will then compete in the final races on Saturday, 14 November - also available live on the platform. "The circumstances drove us to develop a new, creative competition format with great potential for expanding the awareness and acceptance of assistive technologies and the needs of people with disabilities. We can now offer the teams, who have had months of preparation for the event, a global platform," says Roland Sigrist, Executive Director Cybathlon.
Media accreditation is now open! To access all of the Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition media assets, please register online.