NASA and General Motors Develop Robotic Glove

General  Motors  (GM)  and  NASA  team  up  to  create  a robotic glove that auto workers

and astronauts can wear to help do their respective jobs better while potentially reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries. The Human Grasp Assist device, known internally in both organizations as the K-glove or Robo-Glove, resulted from GM and NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) project, which launched the first human-like robot into space in 2011. The Human Grasp Assist, or Robo-Glove makes use of sensors built into the fingertips of the gloves, and will automatically tighten actuators in the fingers to help provide the wearer with a better grip of whatever they’re holding. This will help reduce the amount of force required to grip a certain object, for example reducing a force of 15 to 20 pounds down to a mere 5 to 10 pounds. At the moment, the current prototype weighs about 2 pounds and includes the control electronics, the actuators and a small display for programming and diagnostics, and will utilize an off-the-shelf lithium-ion power-tool battery to power itself. NASA and General Motors are currently working on a new prototype which is reportedly nearing completion, and will be smaller and lighter than the current prototype described above. NASA and General Motors have a long, rich history of partnering on key technologies, starting in the 1960s with the development of the navigation systems for the Apollo missions. GM also played a vital role in the development of the Lunar Rover Vehicle, the first vehicle used on the moon.