“ROBO-GLOVE”- NASA and General Motors’ assisting hand to astronauts and auto-workers
NASA and General Motors are jointly working for the development of a robotic supporting hand to Astronauts and Auto-workers to reduce stress injuries. This project takes inspiration from “Robonaut 2” which was a robotic assistant to astronauts, built by NASA and General Motors.
Human Grasp Assist Device, Robo-Glove in short, is a hand, designed to operate the tools. It is built using mechanical sensors, actuators and motors, which can complement the strength of a human hand.
These gloves rely on robotic sense of touch – pressure sensors and actuators at finger tips that detects that the human user is grabbing an object. The synthetic tendons automatically retract for a firm mechanical grip. It provides the strength by pulling the fingers into a gripping position, until the sensor is released.
By the reduced amount of strength to be applied by the person, risk of stress injuries reduces. The force to be applied to hold a tool of 15-20 pounds reduces to just 5-10 pounds.
They weigh just two pounds and is powered by an off-the shelf lithium-ion power tool battery, attached to the human user`s belt.