GM's Robo-Glove incorporates four tiny servo motors, four gearheads, and four ball screws, along with a lithium-ion battery, in a package worn on the forearm. The motors apply force through synthetic tendons attached to the fingers. (Source: GM)
I've read about a couple of projects in this area lately, but this seems to go a step further with the intelligent sensors that make some sort of interpretation as to how the user wants to operate the hand. That seems pretty advanced in my book. Is this something GM is developing for use internally or would there be commercial applications/availability for it outside of automotive manufacturing? Seems odd that GM would spend time developing/commercializing something a competitor might use.
Beth, i had a similar conversation with Chuck about this the other day. Chuck, can you elaborate on whether GM has plans to mass produce this product, or will they use it internally? In any case, it will be interesting to see what type of companys will employ the Robo-Glove.
Itis good to see GM put engineering labor and cost into something that helps their employees health and well being. If this technology is deployed in their factory and their repetetive motion injury rate goes down, the result to their bottom line will be substantial.
Chuck, Very cool development. The packaging of the system (motors and ballscrews) must have been a significant challenge with this. Great to see the linkage to their work with NASA on the humanoid robot project.
As Rob has indicated here, GM will likely commercialize this through licensing. Make no mistake, though, even though they are not planning to mass produce it themselves, they are very serious about commercialization. And they are open to ideas for innovative ways to use the technology.
Ann: GM is very open to ideas for commercialization. While I was talking with them, they mentioned possible uses in defense applications and in clothing lines. They also mentioned a prominent shoe manufacturer in our discussions, but didn't indicate how that company might use it.
This is a very exciting development – I know so many people who are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and this looks like a great preventative measure and even a way for those who have a repetitive stress injury to be able to continue to work. I will be looking forward to what the operators have to say about it! I wonder how cost effective it will be to implement because I think the possibilities are so huge...very cool!
Because of the increasing ubiquity of wearable technology, it would be easy to think that design of wearable devices is routine and involves common design and engineering knowledge. Missed efforts in development will be remembered once the devices are used in the field
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