GM hopes to be the first US manufacturer of any kind to employ a force-multiplying robotic glove in one of its factories.
General Motors will co-develop the next-generation robotic glove with Bioservo, a Swedish medical technology company. The new robotic glove will build on the work previously done by GM and NASA to create the RoboGlove back in 2011.
By using sensors, actuators and tendons to mimic the nerves, muscles and tendons of the human hand, the RoboGlove is able to retain much of the dexterity of an unassisted human hand, but with additional force and a lowered risk of repetitive stress injuries.
The automaker briefly tested the RoboGlove at a pre-production facility before deciding that it required a partner to further develop the device and adapt it to fit hands of all different sizes.
Top: GM/NASA RoboGlove. Above: RoboGlove meets Robonaut 2.
While the original RoboGlove came about as a follow-up to a GM and NASA collaboration on the Robonaut 2 humanoid robot for the International Space Station, the partnership with Bioservo aims to produce a glove that can be used in both the industrial and medical fields.
Bioservo believes the new glove will assist with medical rehabilitation and could be a major step in the development of soft exoskeleton technology.
Neither company gave a timeline for when the next-generation robotic glove might appear.
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