eClimber: the e-bike for climbing

The eClimber is a kind of e-bike for climbing. It secures the person climbing and actively supports them by automatically counterbalancing their body weight.


  • Lead school School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Institute Institute for Human Centered Engineering (HUCE)
  • Research unit HuCE / Reha Lab
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2023
  • Project management Kenneth Hunt
  • Head of project Kenneth Hunt
  • Partner Gebert Rüf Stiftung
  • Keywords eclimber, climbing, therapeutic climbing, speed climbing


Climbing is gaining ever greater popularity and in recent years has become firmly established as a recreational sport. Although, it is not just sports climbing: therapeutic climbing has also become increasingly popular. This is an activity for people who suffer from chronic diseases, sensorimotor disorders or physical deficits, for example. Therapeutic climbing is carried out under the supervision of a physiotherapist, and the costs of the therapy are covered by the basic health insurance. In order to be able to climb, certain physical requirements must be met. People with paraplegia or who are very overweight, for example, do not meet these requirements and are usually not able to climb a route under their own strength. Unlike in other sports, there is currently no device that can provide the necessary assistance for climbing. As part of a bachelor’s thesis at the Institute IRPT (now the Laboratory for Rehabilitation Technology) at BFH, a first prototype has been developed that is capable of actively supporting a person in their climbing with the help of an adjustable weight support. The device not only takes the strain of the climber’s body weight with the climbing rope, but also acts as an auto-belay, securing the person climbing. Other fields of application based on this technology are amateur and professional sports, where climbing technique can be trained more effectively with the help of targeted support.

Course of action

The aim of the project is to develop our prototype of the eClimber into a market-ready product. Development is taking place in close cooperation with physiotherapists and climbing halls. The needs and requirements of potential buyers and users are constantly being considered in the development process. At the same time, the business model is being honed and the supply chain put in place.


A production-oriented prototype of the eClimber that meets the relevant standards. In addition, a business model that facilitates the commercial success of the eClimber.

Looking ahead

Once the project is concluded, the eClimber will be tested for safety and certified by an independent institution. The market launch for the eClimber is planned for 2024.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being