What is the GM/NASA Robo-Glove?
In terms of technology developed by General Motors, the Power Glove isn’t a video game control device just never really ever seemed to work as well as it did on television. Instead, the project, called the Human Grasp Assist device, or Robo-Glove, is one of many projects being worked on by GM and the American space agency, NASA. Whether used on Earth or in space, the goal of the Robo-Glove is the same. Users will be able to exert less force or effort, improving efficiency, reducing fatigue and hopefully, reduce injuries. Major advancements in the glove’s technology have from the R2 robot which has been aboard the International Space Station since 2011.
“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,” Dana Komin, GM’s manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution said in a press release. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.”
How will the GM Robo-Glove help workers?
Even though there is obviously a large amount of automation involved in the mass production of automobiles, a number of tasks still require workers to sling around, often, heavy tools. According to research conducted by the GM/NASA team, the effort required to continuously hold on to a tool causes hand fatigue within just a few minutes. Electric actuators inside of the Robo-Glove will augment the power generated by the worker’s muscles. Basically, the glove will make people stronger just by putting it on.
How does the Robo-Glove work?
The basic premise of the Robo-Glove is not unlike the metal suit worn by a copyrighted superhero with a razor sharp wit, played by Robert Downy, Jr. in the movies. Small motors (actuators) are embedded in the glove and magnify the effort produced by the users. A version that has been used in space by astronauts has shown a task that would normally require as much 10 kilograms of force can be reduced by more than half using this technology.
As it stands right now, the whole Robo-Glove unit weights about two pounds including the wearable portion and the lithium-ion battery pack worn on a belt. Future efforts are centered around making the Robo-glove lighter and more efficient.
Can I buy Robo-Glove?
The current Robo-Glove system is still in the testing and development stage. There is no telling if this technology will be available on the open market. Over the years several technologies that have been developed for use in space have become staples in our everyday life. Velcro is among the most popular of these items.
If you would like to take a closer look at the incredible technology currently available in today’s lineup of Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and Buick vehicles available at Don Wheaton, contact a sales professional today.