In 2012, General Motors and NASA developed a technology that could be used by both auto workers and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Using actuators, artificial tendons, and sensors to mimic and multiply the function of the human hand, the battery-powered RoboGlove was designed to alleviate the stress and muscle fatigue of repetitive mechanical work in space. Now, according to The Verge, GM has licensed the RoboGlove to BioservovTechnologies, a Swedish medical tech company, so that it can finally be used to help workers here on Earth.
Bioservo will fuse the RoboGlove technology with its own Soft Extra Muscle (SEM) Glove technology in order to make gloves for industrial use, according a press release from GM. "Combining the best of three worlds—space technology from NASA, engineering from GM and medtech from Bioservo—in a new industrial glove could lead to industrial scale use of the technology," Tomas Ward, CEO of Bioservo Technologies, said.
In the video above, GM Robotics Engineer Marty Linn demonstrates how the RoboGlove works at different levels of strength, from a "vice grip" on heavy objects, to a lighter touch on a fragile egg. Next up for the developers: refining the technology in order to make it available for a wider range of uses.
[h/t The Verge]
Images via GM / NASA
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