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Donors send SFU researchers to cyborg Olympics

MASS Impact team
SFU researchers Lukas-Karim Merhi (l) and professor Carlo Menon (r), part of Team M.A.S.S. Impact, are working with para-athlete Danny Letain (centre) to win gold at the cyborg Olympics
After losing his hand in a workplace accident, Danny Letain dreamed of one day moving his fingers again.

That day has come. SFU researchers have been working with Danny to design a new control system for one of the world's most advanced bionic hands.

And this life-changing technology is about to grab international attention at the inaugural Cybathon 2016 (dubbed 'cyborg Olympics') - thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

The competition is for people with disabilities who use robotic technology. Danny, along with SFU's team of researchers knows as M.A.S.S. Impact (Muscle Activity Sensor Strip), tested their prototype at the Cybathlon trial last summer. They performed well, and felt hopeful for a win at the real event being held in Zurich, Switzerland this October. But there was one problem: they didn't have the funds to pay for travel expenses.

Using SFU's crowdfunding platform, the team asked our community of donors for help. They raised over $23,000. Because of you, M.A.S.S. Impact is heading to Zurich!

Cybathon 2016 will bring together over 80 teams from 30 countries, representing the world's best researchers and innovators, and will be attended by over 10,000 spectators. Danny will perform everyday tasks such as slicing bread and opening jars in an obstacle course for people with powered-arm prostheses.

As the only team representing Canada, M.A.S.S. Impact hopes to bring back gold, but even more than that, they hope this international platform will give amputees around the world the best chance to regain their independence.

Go team, go!