A Russian national team will participate in the first international Cybathlon competition for people using high-tech assistive devices, which will be held on October 8, 2016 in Zürich (Switzerland). Russia will be represented by six teams in five disciplines. Among the other technologies, the unique Brain-Computer Interface, developed by Russian engineers, will be presented for the first time on international level.

The Cybathlon will gather leading global technologies for people with disabilities for the first time on one site: robotized wheelchairs, bionic prostheses for upper and lower limbs, exoskeletons and brain-computer interfaces. With six teams presenting their cutting-edge solutions that aim to enter the international market, the Russian delegation is one of the largest national teams in the competition.

The Russian national team will be demonstrating technology made by the companies Motorica, Kleiber Bionics, Orto-Kosmos, Neurobotics and Caterwil. Each of the teams will be represented by a pilot-sportsman who will complete an obstacle course and perform tasks with the help of their unique hi-tech solutions: prosthetic limbs, robotized wheelchairs and exoskeletons.

‘One of the goals of the Cybathlon is the development of an international market of modern assistive technologies and the promotion of brand new solutions in this sphere. There are leading research centers and manufacturers from China, America, and European countries among the participants of the competition. The fact that Russian companies are represented at this “global show of technologies” in almost all disciplines is very important for international cooperation and technological partnership in the industry, and is also a driver of the Russian market’s development’, said Evgeny Kuznetsov, acting CEO of RVC, government fund of funds and the development institute of the Russian Federation.In particular the Russian company ‘Neurobotics’ will present its own ‘brain-computer’ interface that allows to process electric signals from the cerebral cortex and manipulate computers and machinery literally with your thoughts. Russian engineers’ technology recognizes up to 8 different instructions in real time and demands minimal time for user training: in 15 minutes you can use 3 commands, in a couple of hours of training – already 8 commands in the background regime. It means such solution allows paralyzed person to control TV, computer or wheelchair while talking, moving or performing any other daily routine without long training process, which puts it at a competitive level with the leading world analogues.

The progressive development of the Russian assistive technologies and their ambitions for the international market is influenced by the country-wide technological development program – National Technological Initiative of Russia. Notably, the participation of a national team in the Cybathlon is planned as part of the Neuronet Roadmap of the National Technological Initiative of Russia with the assistance of national development institutes – Russian Venture Company, the Skolkovo Foundation, Agency for Strategic Initiatives – and the Industrial Union of Neuronet.

’One of the most promising directions of work within a framework of The National Technology Initiative of Russia is the NeuroNet market – which includes neurotechnologies, as well as products and services based on them. These developed technologies will be displayed for the first time on a worldwide basis exactly on Cybathlon. It will be held in competitive scenarios in 5 of 6 disciplines at once, and this fact features a major technological success of our country, only a few countries in the world are represented in this competition on such a large scale. We expect that Russian teams will perform presentably, we also cheer for our sportsmen and hope that technologies developed by NeuroNet`s companies will help them to become winners’, – said Evgeny Kovnir, the Deputy Director of direction ‘Young Professionals’ of Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

‘The explosive development of technologies is starting to influence the very definition of what a human being is. High tech devices – exoprostheses, brain-computer interfaces, exoskeletons – compensate for lost capabilities and improve people’s quality of life. The participation of Russian teams in the Cybathlon is the beginning of the generation of a center of competences for a new branch of assistive technologies in Russia. The priority of Skolkovo is the development of private entrepreneurship and competition, and an international contest is the best way to determine the real leaders of a new direction,’ said Albert Efimov, Head of Skolkovo Robotics Center.

‘The everyday tasks and problems that disabled people face are the basis of the disciplines at the Cybathlon, in contrast with traditional sports contests. This approach makes it possible to test new solutions in public, understand their advantages and weaknesses, and popularize the achievements of modern science in the sphere of assistive technologies in order to perfect them and make them more available. The development and production of competitive Russian products meeting international quality standards opens wide prospects for the development of the Russian market of assistive technologies,’ said Alexander Semyonov, Executive Director of the Industrial Union of Neuronet and the captain of the Russian team at the Cybathlon.

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