Marty Linn, General Motors manager of advanced technology and principal engineer for robotics, shakes hands with Robonaut 2 (R2), a humanoid robot developed by GM and NASA during a nine-year collaboration that also led to development of the RoboGlove, an exo-muscular device that enhances strength and grip through leading-edge sensors, actuators and tendons that are comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand. GM is licensing the RoboGlove intellectual property to Bioservo Technologies AB, a Swedish medical technologies company that will combine RoboGlove with its owner patented SEM glove technology.

Firming up your grip by doing the Farmer’s Walk and various other hand and forearm exercises may soon be moot if plans to use robotic glove technology in the manufacturing industry pushes through.

After doing time at the International Space Station, the RoboGlove – developed by General Motors (GM) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – will be available to various industries on Earth through a licensing agreement made by GM with Swedish medical technology company Bioservo Technologies AB.

In order to be able to operate hand tools designed for human hands, the ‘new’ RoboGlove will now sport SEM GloveTM (Soft Extra Muscle) technology and ‘leading-edge sensors, actuators and tendons thatare comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand.’

The RoboGlove developed by GM and NASA is a "force multipler" that adds strength and grip to the human hand to allow more consistent effort when performing repetitive tasks. Research shows fatigue can occur within a few minutes of continuously gripping a tool. GM is licensing the RoboGlove intellectual property to Bioservo Technologies AB, a Swedish medical technologies company that will combine RoboGlove with its owner patented SEM glove technology.

RoboGlove2 aims to increase human operator efficiency by acting as a grasp assist device to reduce fatigue in hand muscles, which research shows happens within a few minutes of continuously gripping a tool.

“Combining the best of three worlds – space technology from NASA, engineering from GM and medtech from Bioservo – in a new industrial glove could lead to industrial scale use of the technology,” said Tomas Ward, CEO of Bioservo Technologies.

GM intends to be the first U.S. manufacturing client for RoboGlove2 and will soon test it in some of their plants.

Technology behind RoboGlove, an exo-muscular device that enhances  strength and grip through leading-edge sensors, actuators and tendons that are comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand, is being licensed to Bioservo Technologies AB, a Swedish medical technologies company that will combine RoboGlove with its owner patented SEM glove technology, resulting in a glove that GM will purchase for testing in several of its plants next year.

“The successor to RoboGlove can reduce the amount of force that a worker needs to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” said Kurt Wiese, vice president of GM Global Manufacturing Engineering.

 

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