The first Cybathlon, an Olympics for bionic athletes, will take place in Switzerland in October 2016. The event will include a race where competitors control an avatar via a brain interface. There will also be races for competitors wearing prosthetic limbs and exo-skeletons. Hosted by the Swiss National Competence Center of Research, it is hoped the competition will spur interest in human performance-enhancing technology.
The brain-computer interface race is designed for competitors who are paralysed from the neck down. They will control an avatar in a computer racing game via a headset that connects the brain to a computer. There will also be races for those wearing arm or leg prosthetics, an exoskeleton race and a wheelchair race. The assistive devices worn by the athletes, who will be known as pilots, can either be ones that are already commercially available or prototypes from research labs.
There will be two medals for each competition, one for the pilot and one for company that developed the device. Via Bionic Olympics to be hosted in 2016.