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Advances and challenges in the user evaluation and application of robotic assistive technologies: Insights from the first Cybathlon

Neuer InhaltEdited by: Olivier Lambercy and Roger Gassert

An article collection in Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.

In October 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland, the first CYBATHLON brought together international teams of pilots with disabilities, researchers, technology developers and clinicians to compete in six disciplines using advanced assistive technologies. This unique championship highlighted the potential and challenges of current assistive technologies, and provided a novel basis for technology benchmarking. Two days earlier, the scientific community gathered at the CYBATHLON Symposium to present the latest research, and discuss critical aspects of assistive technology development and use.

This thematic series comprises a selection of manuscripts focusing on user-oriented developments in the field of assistive technologies related to the six disciplines of the CYBATHLON. These highlight the validation of developments through user tests, as well as, for the groups that competed in the CYBATHLON, reflect on the insights and experience gained at this event. The thematic series is completed with ethical and social considerations related to the design and use of assistive technologies.

As such, these articles provide valuable insights on the development of assistive technologies, as well as the training with users and related customization; critical aspects that are often omitted in scientific publications. It is hoped that these accounts and insights will promote further discussion and support the development of user-centered assistive technology.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal's standard peer-review process overseen by the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors. The Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. Powered exoskeletons are a promising approach to restore the ability to walk after spinal cord injury (SCI). However, current exoskeletons remain limited in their walking speed and ability to support tasks of ...

    Authors: Stefan O. Schrade, Katrin Dätwyler, Marius Stücheli, Kathrin Studer, Daniel-Alexander Türk, Mirko Meboldt, Roger Gassert and Olivier Lambercy
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2018 15:18
  2. Here we present how the CYBERLEGs Beta-Prosthesis was modified with a new control system to participate in the Powered Leg Prosthesis event, and to report on our experience at the CYBATHLON 2016 which was held...

    Authors: Louis L. Flynn, Joost Geeroms, Tom van der Hoeven, Bram Vanderborght and Dirk Lefeber
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2018 15:3
  3. Prosthetic arm research predominantly focuses on “bionic” but not body-powered arms. However, any research orientation along user needs requires sufficiently precise workplace specifications and sufficiently h...

    Authors: Wolf Schweitzer, Michael J. Thali and David Egger
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2018 15:1
  4. In this work, we share our experiences made at the world-wide first CYBATHLON, an event organized by the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich), which took place in Zurich in October 2016. It...

    Authors: Karina Statthaler, Andreas Schwarz, David Steyrl, Reinmar Kobler, Maria Katharina Höller, Julia Brandstetter, Lea Hehenberger, Marvin Bigga and Gernot Müller-Putz
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2017 14:129
  5. Roughly one-quarter of upper limb prosthesis users reject their prosthesis. Reasons for rejection range from comfort, to cost, aesthetics, function, and more. This paper follows a single user from training wit...

    Authors: Sasha Blue Godfrey, Matteo Rossi, Cristina Piazza, Manuel Giuseppe Catalano, Matteo Bianchi, Giorgio Grioli, Kristin D. Zhao and Antonio Bicchi
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2017 14:124
  6. The reduction in physical activity following a spinal cord injury often leads to a decline in mental and physical health. Developing an exercise program that is effective and enjoyable is paramount for this po...

    Authors: John McDaniel, Lisa M. Lombardo, Kevin M. Foglyano, Paul D. Marasco and Ronald J. Triolo
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2017 14:118
  7. Rapid advancements in rehabilitation science and the widespread application of engineering techniques are opening the prospect of a new phase of clinical and commercial maturity for Neuroengineering, Assistive...

    Authors: Marcello Ienca, Reto W. Kressig, Fabrice Jotterand and Bernice Elger
    Citation: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2017 14:115