Born without her left arm, Claudia Breidbach has never stopped pursuing her dreams. Describing her outlook on life in a 2015 interview with ETH Zurich she said, “I am a sports enthusiast, always happy, fun, and content - an ambitious person that isn’t afraid of challenges. I love to inspire and motivate others…”.
Skydiver reveals how she masters life with a prosthetic arm
by Marianne Lucien, 12 February 2020
The first woman to compete in the Cybathlon Powered Arm Race, pilot Claudia Breidbach is in relentless pursuit of her dreams.
First woman to compete
Breidbach, a native of Koblenz, Germany said, “I have a variety of things that motivate me…I want to show what is possible nowadays thanks to amazing technology.” This is why she left her career as an architect and became a technology ambassador and Cybathlon pilot for the team, Touch Bionics. In the first Cybathlon, Breidbach was the first woman to compete in the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race and took fourth place in the final race results.
New challenge for Cybathlon 2020
Social inclusion and accelerating the advancement of new technologies are the primary aims of the Cybathlon competition. In the field of prosthetics, researchers around the world have made great strides in developing solutions that go beyond the mechanical and aesthetic. New prosthetic limbs are able to transfer intended motions automatically from the user to the prosthesis and can even transmit a sense of touch when handling objects. In addition to everyday challenges of cutting bread, changing a light bulb, or opening a tin can, CYBATHLON 2020 will include a new Haptic Box task that requires pilots with arm prostheses to identify objects only by touch.
When Breidbach takes time off from her role as a tech ambassador, she can be found packing her parachute as a certified and competitive skydiver. Through her work with Touch Bionics, Breidbach has had opportunities to advance awareness of persons with disabilities and the importance of assistive technologies. In 2014, she met with the then Prime Minister of the U.K., David Cameron and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who, incidentally, shook her prosthetic hand. The Cybathlon too has enabled Breidbach to meet other pilots, connect with interesting people from around the world, and engage with industry. case…what it means to master life with a prosthesis and… show what is possible today with technology,” she said.
Look for Claudia Breidbach during CYBATHLON 2020 (2 – 3 May).
“The Cybathlon pushes the limits of bionic technology.” Source: Quartz news, 22 November 2019