Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2012 Technology

Latest Invention: Robo-Glove from NASA and GM to Lead to Fewer Injuries


GM and NASA teamed up to develop the Human Grasp Assist device, which is also called Robo-Glove or K-Glove.

The invention is based on the grasping technology that was originally created for Robonaut 2, and namely the hands of the humanoid robot that is currently used for different tasks onboard the International Space Station.

The main goal of the device is to considerably reduce recurring stress injuries in astronauts and autoworkers. K-Glove features actuators and pressure sensors installed in the upper sections of each finger.

Here's how it works: when sensors in the gloves detect that a certain object is being grabbed, the actuators help the synthetic ligaments located in the glove's fingers to retract, thus pulling these tendons into a gripping position and holding them until next notice. Due to the fact that the user is not required to maintain their grasp, fewer injuries are registered.

It is worth mentioning that the first prototype was presented in March 2011, and an upgraded version appeared three months later. Each of the two devices weights around 2 pounds (0.9 kg). Both feature a small screen that allows carrying out programming and diagnostics. The gloves are powered by a belt-mounted lithium-ion battery pack created to be used with power tools.

At the moment researchers are working on the third generation of the glove that is expected to be lighter and less bulky.

Check out the video below to see the device in action and learn more about it.

[via GM]

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