A team from a London university is hoping to enter the Cybathlon international championship in 2020 with a robotic wheelchair it is developing.
The team from Queen Mary University is made up of engineering, computer science and medical students.
They have high hopes for their robotic mobility assistance technology at the Cybathlon powered wheelchair race in which pilots race against each other to overcome several obstacles that are typical in daily life for a wheelchair user.
Cybathlon is an international championship in which people with disabilities or physical weakness use advanced assistive devices, including robotic technologies, to compete against each other and solve everyday tasks. The next edition will take place in May 2020, in Zurich, Switzerland.
Cybathlon aims to encourage teams to come up with innovative solutions to cope with the challenges often faced by people with a disability.
Other events in the competition include the powered arm prosthesis race, powered leg prosthesis race, the powered exoskeleton race, the brain-computer interface race and the functional electrical stimulation bike race.
Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov, from EECS and team supervisor, said: “Cybathlon will introduce students from different schools to a collaborative working environment, as well as provide practice to work towards a long term goal which will require careful strategic planning and a clear future vision.
“Potentially, more than 100 Queen Mary students may be involved over the next two years of preparation for the competition so it’s a great opportunity.”
Mr Yunus Kutlu, a third year engineering student and a team leader, said: “We are mixed group of engineers and designers brought together by our love of innovation and invention. Throughout our Cybathlon journey, we will work to improve the lives of those that have been unfortunate enough to be affected by a disability.
“Hopefully we can raise awareness of the cause of such an amazing competition which aims to educate people on the difficulties faced by nearly 15% of the global population.”