US automaker General Motors (GM) and American space agency Nasa have developed a prototype robotic glove inspired by collaborative work on Robonaut 2 – the first humanoid robot in space.
The Robo-Glove senses when the wearer is picking up an object, activating synthetic tendons to reduce the effort required by up to two-thirds. Nasa’s aerospace engineers and GM’s automotive assembly line workers will use the glove to reduce injury.
"When fully developed, the Robo-Glove has the potential to reduce the amount of force that an auto worker would need to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” says Dana Komin, GM's manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury."