gizmag reports that a robotic glove that was originally designed for use on the International Space Station (ISS) has been licensed for use back home, where it could be put to work helping manufacturing workers. Developed in partnership between General Motors (GM) and NASA, the RoboGlove is designed to provide the user with extra gripping strength.
The RoboGlove makes use of numerous sensors, tendons, and actuators that are designed to mimic the muscles, nerves, and tendons of the human hand. The glove features pressure sensors in the fingers, with synthetic tendons retracting when a gripping motion is detected, holding the hand in place to reducing strain.
[NASA] stated that while a factory worker, or an astronaut on a spacewalk, might have to exert 15-20 lbs (7-9 kg) of pressure when using a tool, the glove tech could lower that requirement to as little as 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg) of force.
GM is now eyeing uses for the device in a number of settings, from manufacturing to health care, and has now licensed it out to Swedish medical tech company Bioservo Technologies for further development. The initial plan is to develop the grasp-assist device for industrial use, allowing workers to grip for extended periods of time without encountering muscle fatigue.
> Read more by Chris Wood, gizmag, July 6, 2016