International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2020

December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2020, a day to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society.

US Embassy Bern has a long-standing relationship with the ETH in Zurich and is pleased to see US competitors enter the university’s annual international Cybathlon competition, a unique event during which people with disabilities compete against each other to complete physical tasks using state-of-the-art technical assistance systems. Beyond the competition, the Cybathlon offers a platform to advance research in the field of assistive technology and to promote dialogue with the public about the inclusion of people with disabilities in everyday life. This year 51 teams from 20 countries competed against each other remotely from different time zones and locations.

Discover more about the two US competitors:

    • Pilot Mark Daniel and his IHMC Robotics team from Florida participated in the Powered Exoskeleton Race.The exoskeleton ” Quix ” is the initiative of the team IHMC Robotic of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) to enable people with lower extremity paralysis to walk again.

    • Team Cleveland, with pilot Marc Muhn, won third place in the Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike Race. Team Cleveland uses surgically implanted intramuscular electrodes instead of stimulation through the skin surface like most other teams. Team Cleveland shares, “Through the implant, the nerve can be activated directly, and the muscles can be controlled more precisely. Since 2016, we have been developing the bike so that ten pilots can now ride it at home or outdoors.”

US Embassy Bern congratulates IHMC Robotics, Team Cleveland, and all the other teams from around the globe for their incredible performances!