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A better grip on earth, in space.

Humans are designed to grasp well; but repetitive, high-force gripping can result in long-term discomfort or injury. For example, an assembly operator in a factory might need to use 15 to 20 lbs of force to hold a tool for a task. NASA's Johnson Space Center, General Motors and Oceaneering Space Systems have partnered to design a solution: the Robo-Glove.

This human grasp-assist device augments the grip of a human hand using linear actuators and high-strength polymer tendons. Pressure sensors built into the fingertips of the glove detect when the user is grasping a tool or object. The synthetic tendons automatically retract, pulling the fingers into a gripping position and holding them there until the sensor is released. Force-based contact sensors positioned at the distal end of each finger offer control for the user. Pressure on the sensors triggers the execution of an algorithm by a microcontroller that determines the optimal amount of augmenting tensile force.

* NASA Johnson Space Center,

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Title Annotation:Mechanical Systems: R&D 100
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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