The efforts of Cybathlon, a Swiss invention, to connect not only technology experts with the disabled but also to bring them together with the public, was highlighted in Tokyo in front of media, industry experts and the general public. The event “Technology and Social Inclusion – the Cybathlon Approach,” held on 17 April at the Cité du Temps Ginza, Nicolas G. Hayek Center, Tokyo, was organized by the Science & Technology Office Tokyo in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whose representative Mr. Pascal Hundt, Head of Assistance Division presented the Committee’s global humanitarian efforts. The division has led ICRC’s new research and development program in cooperation with EPFL called the Humanitarian Tech Hub.
The exoskeleton TWIICE from EPFL and the paraplegic athlete, Ms. Silke Pan performed live demonstrations. TWIICE, as well as the two Japanese speakers at the event, Dr. Mark Kasuya of Meltin MMI and Prof. Shuro Nakajima from Wakayama University had participated in Cybathlon organized by ETH Zurich in October 2016. Because there is great interest from Japan to have related events here, the co-organizers of the competition, Dr. Roland Sigrist and Mr. Dario Wyss, also joined to make new connections, deepen existing contacts and talk about plans towards Cybathlon 2020 for the first time in Japan.
The co-organizers of Cybathlon and Prof. Hannes Bleuler, Laboratoire de Systèmes Robotiques (LSRO) of EPFL were also invited to present at a workshop organized by the Tokyo Institute of Technology on 18 April. “Towards and Inclusive Society, Integrating the Physically Disabled – Science and Technology Based Activities in Tokyo Tech and Switzerland” workshop was attended by younger students and researchers.