Cybathlon Click


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Cybathlon. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



THEME SONG PLAYS. This week, heads, shoulders, knees, and toes. All of


them bionic, all of them ready to race. This is the Cybathlon! THEME


SONG PLAYS. APPLAUSE. Welcome to the Cybathlon.


This is the world's first bionic Games. This is a Swiss arena in


Zurich. 2500 people are getting ready to cheer on some of the most


extraordinary athletes you will see this year. This is an event for


those with bionic arms, motorised legs, brain controls and


wheelchairs. It isn't just a challenge for the competitors who


will be called pilots today, but the people who created these devices.


They are awesome. This is going to be awesome. This is what the


Cybathlon is all about. 66 teams from all over the globe have been


designing, building, and training, for this very unique competition.


Disabled athletes here known as pilots will be competing using


advanced assisting devices. The Cybathalon is the brainchild


of this man, Robert Reiner, a professor for sensory


motor systems in Munich. It is an event for people


with disabilities who are allowed to use any kind of technology,


technology that helps them to better We are focusing on challenges


of daily life and by allowing technology,


we can also include people I am most excited about this notion


that scientists and technologists spend the entire year inventing


these crazy bionic limbs and everyone comes together


to compete in this celebratory way. It is fantastic, it is such


an extraordinary expression Each of the six disciplines


will have qualifiers in the morning before the grand finals


in the afternoon. Get around the course


or through the obstacles in the shortest time,


while incurring the lowest Well, that is what it is all


about but this is where We are looking at challenges that


are real day-to-day activities, something like getting


through a door in a wheelchair As we move towards here we see


something showing small detail. The arm prosthesis race involves


being able to open a bottle, open a can, cut bread and as we head


further in this direction, there are different types


upon the floor and when it comes to the exoskeleton race,


the leg prosthetic race and also the motorised wheelchair race,


there are various challenges they have to cross over and in fact


the stairs are looking like one of the real highlights


to that wheelchair race. That is something I'm


looking forward to seeing, they have to be able to get up


and down at the end of the course Back to you, Spen, what do


you have to show us? Our first event of the day


is the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race, a series of tasks designed to really


test those robotic digits and this is what goes


into making a robotic arm. I want to break the physical


barrier between the people At the end of elementary


school I read a comic book I had an interest in both robotics


and the medical field. This sensor can pick


up my signal by pasting So this one is the flexor muscle


and this one is the extended muscle and the third one


is the thigh muscle. muscle and the third one


is the thumb muscle. So, the competitors are using just


two signals to operate this thing. The whole system can analyse


the images, directly Maybe we can win


because of that point. Yes, the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race


is not just about power, it is also about precision


and reliability. The teams need to come up


with the very best ideas to help their pilot,


twist and balance their way along The race is designed to test how


well pilots and their prosthesis can complete tasks that would typically


be challenging for them. Yes, this is the race


where the mightiest tech in the world can be foiled


by the humble clothes peg. I am joined by Martin Wallace


from the company that are making these hands, they are carrying


out some real world What is the next challenge that


you feel you could reasonably The next thing is a very


big technical challenge that would improve functionality


in the touch sensitive nature. There is no feedback in commercially


available hands for getting the signal back to the body


at the moment, how hard someone is gripping something,


how hot something is, all the things you get


with actual fingers. Getting that technology in these


hands would be ideal. What is amazing is the huge variety


in designs for these prosthetic hands, some have five fingers


and some only have two but as long as it does the job,


you have the freedom to design The ultimate victor was a group


of biomechanical engineering Together with their pilot, Bob,


himself an expert in prosthetics, they went for a more established


body-powered approach. This means that physical movements


like reaching forward or lifting your shoulders are used


to control the device. While this gold medal idea


might have won the day, in the end just crossing


the line was enough to send Now, as amazing as all the events


are today, the next one you might think is


particularly unusual, because you are not going to see any


mechanics or any robotics. This is called FES, functional


electric simulation, and it a bike race between two


riders who are using their legs The deal is, both riders


are paralysed, they cannot ordinarily move their legs


and they are using electrical signals to trigger


the muscles in their legs. I had a trampoline


accident back in 2011. And I became what is known


as tetraplegic, I have issues with moving all four limbs,


my legs completely I cannot move. My arms and hands, I have


difficulty moving them. Technology for disabled people


is quite expensive these days, if more technology firms


and universities collaborate they can make the technology more


available for disabled people. To prepare for the Cybathalon I have


been doing about one hour a day I have the arm cycles as well


and we are not allowed to use that, so I had to do some testing to make


sure that my legs are up to speed. At the minimum, I'd like to be


in the top three, although I think I'm doing very well,


I still do not know what is going It is not like the Paralympics


where you sort of have a base rate already, it has happened before,


everything is a bit in the unknown, so until we get there,


who knows what will happen. Well, they wanted third or better


and his wish came true. He was second fastest


of all the qualifiers which placed him in the final


showdown against Mark Moon As the heat continued,


you can see that timing was everything, if the electrical


pulses do not fire at the right time, you can end up


pedalling backwards. Another thing that became clear,


this is a physically exhausting event and that is actually a good


thing, as the creator of the bike Normally, people with spinal injury,


they have wasted muscles, One guy here with more


muscles than I have. There are two different techniques


of FES that we have heard of, one that you stick the electrodes


on the skin but some teams are actually implanting


the electrodes in the legs. We only use adhesive


electrodes or shorts, we made shorts with electrodes


on, you put them on, but they implanted it,


the Americans implanted it. It is a little bit better


for racing performance, but most of them do not want it,


it is very expensive, if it gives trouble and they have


in the past, you have to take it out This can just be used by any person


with a spinal injury almost. And, the race was against


an American with implants that Johnny found himself


in the grand final. And after a monumental


effort from both pilots, it was Mark Moon who


beat Johnny to win. You look seriously focused there,


how did it feel for you? It felt amazing, going really fast,


I thought I was going to beat him, Went too high and had a bit


of a reverse effect. You still did an absolutely great


job, do you feel exhausted? I have been training


a lot beforehand. I have had the bike a long


time and it has been a great piece of kit,


but training for here, tech check yesterday,


five in the morning woke up, ten hours yesterday on the bike,


setting everything up and today, The training for Cybathalon


certainly seems as intense as any athletics event and how


about this for focus? These pilots have complete or severe


loss of moter function and are using a brain controlled


interface to take part in a virtual The key is to generate the right


sort of signals in your brain to make the right sort of moves


and avoid the obstacles and ultimately it was the Swiss team


but stormed to victory. Powered leg prosthesis remain one


of the most well known prosthesis He pilots and navigates obstacles


which seem easy to those with two legs but are really tough


for traditional prosthetics and it was a contender


from Iceland's Rio Knee Now, 30 years ago Sigourney Weaver


picked up an alien Queen and lobbed her out of the air lock


of her spaceship using a powered exoskeleton suit, one of the sci-fi


highlights of my life. Now, admittedly, we are not quite


there with the technology in reality yet, but today's final event


showcases just how far we have, So we thought the exoskeleton


is like a robot that has We basically got three motors,


one is positioned here which does the hip motion


or how big that it moves, the second one is there,


the one for the shank There is the third one,


this motor says how stiff It is basically the computer


or the brain of the exoskeleton where all motions are


saved and recalculated. There is always the possibility that


something gets unplugged, We are quite confident


that this will not happen. It is interesting to see how


they compete against us and how they perform, that is what I am


most excited about. We are like the underdogs,


we only had two years of developing and five months of training


and there are devices that have been developed for ten years and a pilot


is training for four years. It would have been unrealistic


to think we could win. I think we can give a good


performance anyway. Well, they may not have had the time


they wanted to prepare The team narrowly missed out


on a place in the grand final but with a combination of nimble


footwork and sheer perseverance, they won the competition's B final


and finished fifth overall. The final was tense


boiling down to a showdown Like the powered arm race,


the course is made up of obstacles that people with limited movement


can face in everyday life. Sitting down and getting up


is tough, even in an exosuit. These pilots have complete leg


paralysis meaning it was down to the suits to tackle the ramp


and the uneven ground. In the end the USA looked


to have a slight lead but a malfunction allowed the German


pilot to gain the upper hand. Coming down the stairs


it was neck and neck, a matter of who could complete


those vital final few steps and by a whisker,


Germany took the gold. You can see it was exhausting


and after the medal ceremony we caught up with our old friends


to see how they found Very exhausting, like climbing


a mountain or running But it is very nice to be part


of this event and I am very Tell me about the suit? Is it


difficult to operate? You have to handle the steps,


it keeps your mind in a good condition that you do not press


the wrong ones and on top, you get tired more and more,


it is altogether a big challenge. How was that moment for you,


the first time you took Practising and training


for me has nothing to do with how I am walking again,


being back in the situation, So far, it is more like


a work-out for me and a joy. Next up is the powered wheelchair


race, which amongst other things sees them have to get up these


steps, go across there and then Spencer, I believe you have a bit


of history with one of these teams. I met up with one of the teams


earlier in the year and tried out one of their very early prototypes


in wheelchairs and as the internet However they are here and I caught


up with them yesterday and their wheelchair looks even more


impressive and it does work. They are in one of the heats


taking place down there, so I have got everything


crossed for them. And on the start line,


the pilot looked confident. The problem is that the team are not


allowed to intervene or help without


getting disqualified, which meant as the race went on,


they were left at the start. The only thing, it shut down


the connection between the phone I could not do anything,


the wheelchair, now it is working perfectly, but it is like any car


engine, you have to press The problem was that they were stuck


we could not do anything. I'm so sorry, I have seen this


in action and I know The wheelchair final was a much


closer run thing for the four finalists and again you can


really see the variety The Hong Kong team went for these


caterpillar tracks which made short That is not a wheelchair,


that is a wheeltank! But that lack of suspension really


gave the pilot a rocky ride And balance was the big


issue as these chairs Really the climax of the event,


with three pilots all reaching As the Hong Kong pilot had to once


again be thrown about, Florian Hauser showed off a clever


weight lifting feature of the Swiss chair, which ensured


that he did not topple over. In fact, these stairs proved to be


the crucial decider. It was a nail-biting finish that


had the whole crowd, In the final seconds,


the Swiss team came from third place to beat Hong Kong


by just five seconds. It was a great feeling. We trained


so much and it was also well. I don't know.


Is it exhausting and does it take a lot of concentration?


Yes, because I was nervous at the start, I think at the start,


It is like the Mars Rover, it does not matter what kind


You have done a lot of training and each wheel chair has its own special


feature. Can you tell me through some of the highlights of what you


have here? First, that is my steering. That is my programme that


I have. That is the part of my seat so it depends on the level of the


wheelchair. Would this be plausible to using day-to-day life or does it


need more development? It is a perfect type. It had to go smaller,


shorter but it is the right way. You begin with a prototype and then you


adapted. I think in the future it will be, it will be a part of


everyday. And that is it from


the very first Cybathalon. It has, it has been a day filled


with genuine warmth and enthusiasm. Listen to that and the crowd has


made as much noise for the people coming last as they have


for the people coming first, sometimes more noise for the person


who crossed the line last. The other thing I noticed


is that every competitor has finished the race,


even if they know they have not won, even if they have known they have


lost, there is no point, It is about going the distance


and pushing this technology The thing is we often say


it is the taking part, not the winning that matters,


and we do not mean it. I think today, it is


genuinely the case. I hope you have enjoyed it and found


it as fascinating as we have.


Download Subtitles