As part of the CYBATHLON international sports competition, Japan is slated to organize the CYBATHLON Wheelchair Series in May 2019. Initiated especially for people with disabilities, the event was started in 2016 in Switzerland in an effort to combine human and machine.
The Olympics and Paralympics contest is designed to test the abilities of the participants without using any sort of devices. The CYBATHLON, on the other hand, allows the participants to use technology, showcasing the future of the alliance between human and technology.
CYBATHLON makes society realize how extensively technology can help people with disabilities. This project expedites the practical application of these type of human-assistive technologies.
Taking into account the huge success the 2016 competition garnered, the CYBATHLON Series was organized for each discipline in various location around the world to pave the way for the next competition, slated to take place in May 2020, i.e. after 4 years.
Wakayama University’s team demonstrated the unparalleled technological abilities of Japan and ended up grabbing the fourth spot in the competition. Still riding high on the aforesaid success, Japan decided to host the CYBATHLON Wheelchair Series.
People with disabilities go up against each other in the CYBATHLON competition as pilots. In order to ensure they are more competitive and reach perfection, it is imperative to develop near flawless devices. It is worth noting that the highly agile university research labs, that primarily comprises members who are students, have to undertake this extremely challenging task of upgrading the devices with high levels of perfection.
At the same time, the companies are hard at work developing new devices, despite the absence of economic prospect.
It looks like technologies for areas that will be required in the future but are currently not in economic demand (for instance human-assistive technologies) are highly unlikely to be put to practical use in the near future.
Image credit: Cybathlon/YouTube screencap