Robert Riener, founded the world’s first Cybathlon, an Olympic-style competition that facilitates a conversation between academia, industry, technology developers and people with disabilities.
CYBATHLON is a competition for people with disabilities, who, supported by the latest assistance systems in various disciplines, compete against each other and solve everyday tasks.
We went to the first Cybathlon Games in the Swiss Arena in Kloten, and it was the one of the most enjoyable and encouraging events I have ever been to. For me this is a wonderful example of a positive human future – where physical disability as we know it today will become a minor characteristic for human beings in the not too distant future.
I’m looking forward to intelligent assistive units that we older people can simply strap on to the appropriate areas when necessary, to keep us mobile and in control of our longevity.
The next Cybathlon event is back in the Swiss Arena in Kloten – just outside Zurich- on 2 & 3rd of May 2020.
If you’re interested in this sort of thing, check out http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/
As a child of the 60s I grew up with: War of the Worlds; Lost in Space; Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke; David Vincent tirelessly tracking down ‘The Invaders”; Star Trek; the space missions, landing on the moon, all of which promised us so much. But then we got all tied up in war, music, family and mortgages, which meant that all the sexy robotics stuff got put on the back- burner of public funding. Then, the sci fi movies all became really negative scenarios of humanity not being able to cope with the future.
Well the scary stuff definitely sells movies, but in our real world, let’s stick with improving our communication skills and supporting the science that can create a more positive future for us all.
I’m suggesting, that getting older means getting to grips with more gadgets not less. We need to get involved with and support anyone working on ethical systems to enhance the quality of older human life.
We need to go out and find the developers of the systems that will best suit us. And I do mean gadgets and robotic systems, anything from smart phones, to driverless cars, to robot dancing-partners, to space travel, to wearable technology, that will allow us to maintain or improve our everyday living now and as we get even older.
In this video, Robert Riener talks about Cyborgs, Super-humans and the use of virtual reality help stroke victims to regain mental and physical abilities.
I think though, this Honda design can only get an E for effort.