Project MARCH, a student team from Delft University of Technology has won the Cybathlon Experience in Düsseldorf with their new exoskeleton the MARCH III. Together with ‘pilot’ Sjaan Quirijns, who suffers from paraplegia since 2000, the team achieved the fastest time and highest score last Saturday at the international obstacle race for exoskeletons.
Thanks to improvements made on the ‘suit’ and an intensive training for the pilot, the team managed to finish the obstacle run in less than 9,5 minutes. Project MARCH especially scored well on the autonomous performance of the exoskeleton.
The Cybathlon Experience took place during the Rehacare, last week. Several academic and commercial teams competed in an obstacle race. Those obstacles represent the barriers people in a wheelchair encounter every day, such as sitting down and standing up from a chair or walking up and down the stairs. The MARCH III scored the fastest time and most points on three out of four parts of the competition, thereby securing the best overall score.
Team manager from Project MARCH Lennart Schut is very proud with the first place. “But more importantly, by developing this technology we help people who suffer from paraplegia getting back their mobility”, he states. “Our ultimate goal is that the exoskeleton will become available for everyone who benefits from it. We consider it a great step towards a future in which people with paraplegia don’t need wheelchairs anymore.”