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GM’s Robo-Glove Could Ease Workload in Space and on Assembly Line

Like wearing a robot hand.

by on Mar.13, 2012

Robo-Glove could significantly reduce repetitive stress disorders on an assembly line - while making it easier to work in space.

It may be rocket science, but General Motors says a new robotic glove it’s developing with NASA has some seriously practical applications down on Earth.

Formally known as the Human Grasp Assist, the system is a spin-off of the Robonaut 2 project, a human-like robot GM helped develop that’s now operating on the International Space Station, or ISS.  Known internally as Robo-Glove, the prototype is intended to make it easier to hold something in your grip longer and more comfortably.

The system could be used by space-walking astronauts as well as workers on the assembly line, says Dana Komin, GM’s manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution.

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“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,” explains Komin. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.”

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GM and NASA Engineers Prepare R2 for Space Work

Technology on R2 robot could easily displace line workers.

by on Jul.07, 2010

Not exactly a job creating technology.

General Motors and NASA engineers continue to prepare Robonaut 2 for its planned September mission to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery, GM said today in a statement.

This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines.

Using dexterous, human-like robots capable of intricate work is not new to the aerospace industry, of course. The original Robonaut, a humanoid robot designed for space travel, was built by the software, robotics and simulation division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in a collaborative effort with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency 10 years ago

R2 can work safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space. This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines.  (See NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology)

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Human Written!

GM and NASA engineering teams are currently checking on some of the key technologies employed by the “humanoid” robot, including advanced sensor and vision systems.

R2, while not nearly as cute as R2-D2 of Star Wars fame, is faster, more dexterous and a more technologically advanced robot than previous, non-movie versions.

No word if R2 has a taser, though.

At least people, so far, are doing the design work. Moreover, a human writes this story.

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GM’s Robonaut 2 Heads Into Space

Life-like robot will become new resident of space station.

by on Apr.14, 2010

The new Robonaut 2 prototype is able to curl a 20 pound weight, more than most humanoid designs.

He’s not quite C3PO, nor the emotional fireplug that Star Wars fans knew as R2D2, but Robonaut 2 will soon be taking his place in space as the latest resident on the international space station.

Jointly developed by NASA and General Motors, the 300-pound R2, as he’s become known to developers, is designed to see if a life-like robot can work alongside human counterparts in a variety of duties off planet Earth. (See NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology)

R2 will actually be the second robot on the space station, though the original, Canadian-designed Dextre, is anything but anthropomorphic.  It consists of two long, spider-like arms that can perform some of the exterior construction and repair work that would normally require a space walk by human astronauts.

“The use of R2 on the space station is just the beginning of a quickening pace between human and robotic exploration of space,” said John Olson, director of NASA’s Exploration Systems Integration Office. “The partnership of humans and robots will be critical to opening up the solar system and will allow us to go farther and achieve more than we can probably even imagine today.”

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While R2 might look like an astronaut suited up for a space walk, GM developers stress that he not only looks human but is designed to work like one, with arms and hands that can perform the same function as living, breathing space station dwellers.

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NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology

Next gen robots for auto and aerospace use looks promising.

by on Feb.04, 2010

Let R2 do the heavy lifting.

Engineers and scientists from NASA and General Motors Company are working together through a Space Act Agreement to build a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people.

At NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston living people are exploring control, sensor and vision technologies. Future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants, according to program workers.

Successful robots could eliminate entirely the need for people to risk the hazards of space exploration.

The two organizations, and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, developed and built the next iteration of Robonaut or Robonaut 2. Testing is ongoing.

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Live Writers (so far)!

R2, while not nearly as cute as R2-D2 of Star Wars fame, is said to be faster, more dexterous and a more technologically advanced robot than previous, non-movie versions. No word if R2 has a taser, though.

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