Cybathlon Blog

Distinguished Visitors Drop by to Watch

Fred Levin and Ashton Hayward, the mayor of Pensacola, dropped by to watch Mark train. Many thanks to Mr. Levin for his generous donation to IHMC for our Levin Center for IHMC Research. The new building is fantastic and we are excited to move in next month.
September 26, 2016

From left to right: Fred Levin, Mark Daniel, Ashton Hayward

Thanks Nexus Technologies

Nexus Technologies hooked us up with some fast printing. Check out all the new parts. Now our exo will have the final covers and not look like a franken-robot.

About Nexus Technologies:

Nexus Technologies was founded with the mission to bring humans and technology closer together through robotics and automation. They have applied that mission to the 3d printing industry by developing autonomous solutions that offer lower part cost with a quicker turnaround time while maintaining a high standard of quality. Contact them today at to receive a quote for your next 3d printing project.
September 22, 2016

This is only half the print job they did for us!

Cutting it a little close there, Mark

Mark just got this:
September 20, 2016

Mark Just got XTENDed

Thanks Scivation for setting Mark up with some XTEND and FLEXATRIL
September 19, 2016

What a great team

This team has worked so hard to get ready for the Cybathlon. We are all looking forward to heading to Switzerland. I could not have wished for a more dedicated, talented, and fun group to work with.

September 17, 2016

2016 IHMC Cybathlon Team (Top row, left to right) Jesper Smith, Olger Siebinga, Tyson Cobb, Mark Daniel, Peter Neuhaus, Travis Craig, Jeremy Gines

(Bottom tow) Jason Conrad, Robert Griffin, Koen Kramer, Nick van Dijk, Billy Howell

Slalom, Slalom, and more Slalom…training for the Cybathlon

Mark, who is paralyzed, is training for the Cybathlon. The Slalom is one of the 6 tasks. In this video, the overhead tether is only to catch Mark if he loses his balance. He is operating on battery power and controlling the exoskeleton with button presses with his right hand.

He did the slalom so many times that he started to get bored. Go figure, he’s walking for the first time in many years and already he’s bored. Okay Mark, challenge accepted. Tomorrow you’re doing stairs.
September 13, 2016

Gearing up with Running Wild of Pensacola

Paul, from Running Wild, set Mark up with some gear to train in. Visit them at
September 12, 2016

Thank you to The William and Karen Dalton Family
We would like to thank The William and Karen Dalton Family for sponsoring our project.

Slalom task training

Mark has been doing a lot of slalom course training over the past few days. He’s getting really good at it.
September 9, 2016

Look ma, no hands

We have completed a major hardware and electronics upgrade. Mechanically, the foot plates and the ankles are a lot stiffer and we are controlling the ankle joints in a stiffer position control mode. We also locked up the pelvis side-to-side bending motion. As a result, Mark is a lot more stable. He can stand without holding on.

We now have a lot of training and tuning to do in the next 27 days.
September 6, 2016

Scivation sponsors team

We would like to thank Scivation for their sponsorship. You can find our more about their products at
August 23, 2016

Allied Motion Technologies joins list of sponsors

We would like to thank Allied Motion Technologies ( for their sponsorship. We use their motors in our actuators.
August 19, 2016

Major electronics upgrade

Last night we disassembled the entire exoskeleton in order to upgrade the motor controller boards and the electronics in the backpack. It was a late night, and we still have some assembly and testing to do today. But so far so good.
August 18, 2016

Olger (left) and Travis (right) reviewing the electronics in the backpack.

Koen trying to stay away as he reassembles the actuators.

Who says training can’t be fun?

Mark has a complete spinal cord injury, meaning he has no sensation below about his stomach. So when standing in the exoskeleton, he does not know where his balance point is and if he is about to fall over. To help him learn how to balance, he needs feed back. What better way to give feedback than play games. He is using the Wii Balance Board to learn how to position himself and balance in the exoskeleton.
August 17, 2016

More training and testing for Mark

Mark trained for about an hour today. We worked on stand up/sit down and then walked back and forth the length of the rail a few times. Still working on a way to get up. It’s pretty tough since the sofa sits pretty low.
August 10, 2016

Mark Daniel will be the pilot for IHMC Robotics entry in the Cybathlon 2016. This is Mark’s first time standing and walking since he last evaluated IHMC’s X1 exoskeleton in 2012.

Mark takes his first steps

Today, Mark took his first steps in the exo. All went smoothly. It’s been 3 years since Mark walked, so he’s a little rusty. And we are still tuning the hardware and software.
August 8, 2016

Tested applying torque during toe off

Mina v2 has powered ankles. This is our first test at applying torque during toe off. Tyson (able-bodied) has tested with and without toe off torque. He reported that walking with toe off torque was way better. The speed was 0.22 m/s, the fastest that we have walked so far.
August 5, 2016

Did some testing for walking and stairs today..

Tyson (who is able-bodied) was our test pilot today. We tested sit down/stand up, walking, and stairs. Still lots of work to do for October.
August 2, 2016

Fit check for our pilot, Mark

We made some new parts to fit Mark better. Mark’s response, “It fits like a glove. The best one yet.”
July 27, 2016

Mark Daniel, our pilot, doing a fit check. The fit is great!

Mark showing that there are no abrasions or red spots after standing in the exo for about 20 minutes.