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Humans and robots will come together to compete in the 2016 Cybathalon

Humans and robots will come together to compete in the 2016 Cybathalon

The Olympics are meant to test human ability. But technology is now augmenting what humans can do, allowing them to cut through water faster and run on prosthetic legs at speeds faster than athletes who have legs. The Olympic committee has often reacted by banning equipment and clothing that give athletes too much of an advantage.

A new Swiss competition called the Cybathlon, scheduled for 2016, sets aside those limits and asks what athletes with physical disabilities are capable of when they compete with the help of advanced robotics. Their abilities will be tested in six different competitions that range from completing a course in an exoskeleton to racing virtual cars via a computer-brain interface. Athletes will compete individually or in teams and pair with a lab that will create their robotics gear.

The race events will take place on a course filled with slopes and obstacles, so competitors won’t exactly beat any world records. Athletes will make their way over a teeter totter, narrow beam and stairs before sprinting across the finish line. It will certainly be more exciting than the DARPA Robotics Challenge trials because, when it comes to software, the human brain still rules.

Source: gigaom.com

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