There are some jobs that require us to perform repeated tasks on a daily basis which could ultimately lead to repetitive stress related injuries. NASA and GM have realized that and have teamed up to create the Robotic Glove, a tool which they’re hoping will help auto workers and astronauts in their line of work and to help reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
The Human Grasp Assist, or the K-Glove or the Robo-Glove (we’re guessing it really depends on who you’re talking to) 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 GM are currently working on a new prototype which is reportedly nearing completion, and will be smaller and lighter than the current prototype described above. [Press release]