robotic.glovex299For those who are suffering with weak muscles, especially in the hand due to the effects of a stroke, ALS, or muscular dystrophy, performing simple tasks like picking up an object, gripping something in your hand, turning the doorknob, and more can be frustratingly difficult. However thanks to a research team at Harvard University, they have developed a prototype glove that helps provide the wearer with a stronger grip.

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How it works is that each finger of the glove will come with a small water bladder. When activated, the bladders will fill up with water from a small reserve which in turn will “force” the wearer’s fingers to curl into a grasping-like motion, thus providing the wearer with a stronger grip to pick up small objects that they weren’t able to before.

However it seems that as it stands, the prototype only allows for that one particular motion but presumably in the future, a wider range of motion could be added to the glove. Speaking to the MIT Technology Review, Conor Walsh, professor at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering was quoted as saying, “It’s really simple, because all you do is pressurize it and you get this nice complex motion. The downside is, it’s that one motion all the time.”

There is also another downside to the glove which is that it weighs a whopping 8 pounds. For a patient with weak hand muscles to begin with, we reckon that lifting 8 pounds can be quite strenuous already so hopefully when the technology has been released, which the researchers are aiming or in the next 3 years, they would have eliminated some of the weight by then.

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