Automakers often talk about the real-world benefits of their racing programs; however, General Motors’ latest innovation requires a little more speed than the race track to get to its testing environment: outer space.
Working with a company named Bioservo Technologies AB, GM developed a robotic glove used by NASA on the International Space Station. Called the Soft Extra Muscle (SEM) Glove, it’s a glove that the user wears to help maintain a steady grip. Nicknamed “RoboGlove,” it’s a nine-year endeavor is now finding its way to Earth.
RoboGlove uses a collection of sensors, actuators and tendons that are comparable to human nerves, muscles and tendons to mimic the moves and utility of a human hand. The technology was used on NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) that was sent to space in 2011. As part of that mission, R2 needed to be able to operate tools designed for humans, and developers achieved unprecedented hand dexterity with the technology. (more…)